Landmark Planning: A Clearer View of Future Plans

Landmark has provided planning application information for residential conveyancing through Plansearch and Plansearch Plus for many years. Landmark information was part of the now legendry Bird & Bird transaction case, the conclusion which found ‘Changes to the surrounding environment, brought about through development are an important factor in protecting a client’s investment pre-acquisition’.

Of course, a preference or indifference to planning proposals in its various forms is very much a personal view. Conveyancers may air on the side of caution following guidance, preferring to simply understand the proposed purchase property and to rely on the seller’s information. Homebuyers, however, have a right to understand any impact, positive or negative, that a nearby development may have before they commit to a purchase.

It is important to be aware of any potential changes within the surrounding area that would affect the use, enjoyment or even value of a property from planning and building regulation decisions. But how do you make the extent of a development application clearly understood?

As part of Landmarks ever-evolving data and technology provision, they have merged their Plansearch reports into the newly enhanced Landmark Planning.

Uniquely, the report displays data on the majority of the UK’s large planning applications, such as a new housing estate, as polygons (boundaries).  This means both conveyancer and client will benefit from a visually clearer, more realistic view and understanding of the extent or potential impact of larger planning applications, rather than relying on a list, single mapped point or buffer to work it out.

The report not only delivers details of planning applications from extensions to large developments but also provides information on what future uses of land are being proposed for the surrounding area, alongside the Local Authority policies and constraints. It also includes key neighbourhood information such as:

  • Housing
  • Demographics
  • Schools
  • Local amenities
  • Rights of way

To help both conveyancer and client, all the data within the report is supported by easy-to-understand guidance and next steps.

Determining what is important to the home buyer with regards to planning can be difficult and can lead to large amounts of time being spent on reviewing data which is not of interest or concern to the home buyer. Large volumes of data can also lead to the homebuyer missing important information about their purchase.

Landmark’s gold standard all in one enviro-report Riskview Residential removes this pain for the conveyancer and home buyer by presenting planning applications, including the large sites as polygons and constraints through its advanced, simple to use, dynamic online viewer. The viewer includes a date filter which allows the homebuyer reduce the amount of data presented and helps to provide focus on what really matters to them. In some cases, reducing hundreds of applications down to just three or four.

The Riskview viewer includes (where possible) a clickable weblink for each recent planning application. The homebuyer can then look further into the application via the authority planning portal. Together, Riskview’s unique time-saving features help the property professional add value to their home-buying client whilst reducing time spent dealing with planning related enquiries.

The Government is still committed to 300,000 new homes per year even these unprecedented times. The Prime Minister’s ‘Build, Build, Build’ speech in July last year was followed by a series of new laws that came into effect on 1 September 2020. The aim is to deliver new homes and revitalise town centres across England alongside a permanent extension to the existing permitted development rights.

In the current climate, who can guess the impact of these laws? To what extent will they change the places we live, or want to live?

Whatever the future holds, surely the best outcome for conveyancers and homebuyers is a more transparent transaction, which provides the insights needed for informed decisions.

Selecting the Landmark Planning report or Riskview Residential demonstrates good due diligence in taking all practicable steps to reasonably identify information that the client would want to know.