Planning & Development


Despite the downturn in the property market there is still activity from developers and house builders for the right sites. Pre-downturn Local Council’s Development Plan focus was on major strategic developments. The post-downturn economic conditions has led to deliverability questions being raised over a number of these major strategic developments and there are very few developers and investors with the financial ability to fund such schemes. Focus has reverted to smaller, ‘shovel ready’ sites with little upfront infrastructure costs. There are therefore opportunities to be realised for sites to come forward. The system is more than ever plan led and the timescales for making representations are tight. Miss the window and the opportunity for promotion may have been missed for at five years and upwards.

The keys, which will unlock any development value your property may have, are the Strategic Development Plan, the Local Development Plan and a valid planning consent. Land owners may wish to undertake the development themselves for their own use, they may wish to sell once planning consent has been granted or they may choose to dispose of the site in its current condition. Davidson & Robertson provide advice to clients on a variety of planning matters including change of use and development options. Davidson & Robertson also provide assistance with achieving new planning consents including site promotion and liaison with the Local Planning Authority. Projects include anything from single house plots to major strategic developments.

We have considerable experience in advising and negotiating the optimum structure and terms of Option and Promotion agreements between prospective developers, housebuilders and landowners. These agreements provide for the future sale of land on largely pre-agreed terms and can include up front, staged, one off and top up payments. The terms of an Option or Promotion agreement must be tailored to suit the requirements of the landowner and the circumstances of the site and our aim is always to negotiate the best possible terms for the best possible outcome for every client.

We are currently advising on development of just over 400 Hectares (1,000 acres) in Scotland.


“Davidson & Robertson have helped us along each step of the process. Thanks to their guidance we have been able to negotiate our way through the various obstacles to development and help achieve a successful outcome.”

K Ireland, Raw Holdings, West Lothian