Land and property owners often have ideas for diversifying their property or land to bring in extra money and create an alternative income stream to their existing ones by capitalising on their assets. However, there are many areas to consider before jumping headfirst into a diversification project, including (but not limited to) legislation, taxation, valuation, planning and financing.

The areas that we at Eldnar Consultancy can provide advice on are planning and valuation.  We can also point you in the right direction of what else to check to ensure you have considered everything you need to before making any big decisions.

Whilst looking at the overall picture is of huge importance, one of the trickier areas within the process of diversification can be obtaining planning permission (or even working out whether you need planning permission!) when you have no prior knowledge of the planning system and how it works. It can be very easy to think that just because it is a good idea you will get the permission and that it will be a quick and easy process. What is important to remember is that most, if not all, diversification projects will require planning permission in some form and that planning permission should be gained before the diversification is built or can begin. Quite simply, no planning will mean the diversification project will not be possible.

Also, as we will always emphasise, engaging with the planning process early is key due to the issues that land and property owners can or may face. Issues can be anything from ecology matters to transport issues, to drainage.  The timings for certain surveys and obtaining the required information can mean that starting early will always be an advantage.  You cannot, really, start too early.  Most consents are subject to a condition requiring commencement of the development within three years so there is plenty of time to implement your consent.  It is better, in our opinion, to start early and have a consent ready for whenever you are in advance.

A way of identifying potential issues is by instructing a planning appraisal to explore your options for the diversification you are trying to achieve. This type of appraisal will cover:

– Planning law and policy relevant to the project

– The planning history of the site

– Any constraints that may be in place over the land in terms of strategic policies.

Options will then be given, if they are available, on how permission can be gained. This could be via a differing routes depending on what is available for the specific site. However, if it is not possible to obtain planning permission for the exact diversification being sought, land and property owners should also be informed of this.  Other options for revised proposal may be a consideration but we can always give parameters for consideration.

To reiterate, planning is one (important) cog of the whole process, and it is important to consider the time, cost and risk associated with the planning and the overall impact this may have on the viability of a diversification scheme.