Date Published 19 December 2016
Dale Cox, Managing Director Taylor Cox
Oxford Property Column
Now is the time to get planning on land before rules change
We often get involved in conversations about land for sale in and around Oxfordshire, the perception is that there is a shortage of land, as there is a shortage of housing but that is not the case. Recently I have found and sold several pieces of land for developer clients both in West Oxfordshire. The problem is not the availability of land but the planning permission and this is only going to get worse in 2017 when West Oxfordshire County Council change their planning policies and guidelines on what and where building will be permitted making it even harder for landowners to get planning permission.
Land values without planning are worth a fraction of the cost of land with planning, literally you can increase the value of land by 1000% if it has planning. A piece of land worth £42k without planning would be worth £500-£600 with planning for a single house, if you could build 30-40 you are looking at £5 million plus. So if you're sitting on land that is big enough for development now is the time to look to get the planning permissions before guidelines change, whether you are intending to sell in the near future or not.
There are some real development hot spots in West Oxfordshire, not only because of the appeal of the market town but because of the train stations in Long Hanborough and Charlbury. Village stations like these and Kingham plus the opening of the new Bicester and Oxford Park Way stations mean that all the surrounding villages are becoming sought after addresses for commuters to both Oxford and London.
If you have existing out buildings on your land this sets a good precedent for development even if they are not residential buildings. We have an interesting ongoing case in a village where a swathe of land has been denied planning and so is effectively worthless in development terms. But the adjacent land has existing derelict buildings and so if we could incorporate the two; one for residential development and the other to provide access and paddocks the value of the previously worthless land will skyrocket.
The moral of the story is that you do need to be creative when looking at development opportunities but now is the time to move on getting planning permissions before the rules change and it becomes even harder to make the most of the assets you may have been sitting on for too long already.
Dale Cox is Director of Taylor Cox Estate Agents, Witney
Tel: 01865 959099