Development Project 

Introduction 

The JMW Commercial Property Department has recently acted for a developer client in providing full legal service on the construction and sale of 51 new-build completed affordable housing units to a well-known housing provider for rent in Liverpool. The project value in this case is in excess of £5m.

Issues and legal/commercial solutions dealt with

As is the norm with this type of development, a conditional agreement was entered into which specified a number of conditions to be satisfied before the agreement would be rendered unconditional. On exchange of contracts, a 10% deposit was paid and held as stakeholder and segments of the deposit were subsequently released to the developer upon the satisfaction of certain specified conditions.

The developer was required to obtain a satisfactory planning permission for the development and JMW worked with the Local Authority to negotiate and complete the requisite planning agreement. JMW also liaised with the relevant authority and utility company to ensure the completion of agreements under s.38 of the Highways Act 1980, s.104 of the Water Industry Act 1991 and s.278 of the Highways Act 1980 to satisfy another condition of the contract.

Construction of the residential units was carried out in phases with JMW serving a completion notice on the Buyer’s solicitor shortly after practical completion of the units on each phase.

A supplemental agreement was required prior to completion of the Phase 1 of the development in order to reverse the order of the phase completions when it became apparent that works on one phase were more advanced than others.

Following completion of Phase 1 and in the run up to completion of Phase 2 of the development, it came to light that a Stopping Up Order had been issued by the local authority affecting land immediately adjoining the site boundary on which some of the units in Phase 2 were constructed. To minimise any delays in the Phase 2 completion JMW promptly submitted an application to the Land Registry to amend the boundary of the site to include the stopped up land within the developer’s title on the basis of the ad medium filum presumption whereby owners of adjoining properties are deemed to own the subsoil beneath a former highway out to the centre line of the former highway.

Summary

JMW’s Commercial Property team has experience dealing with a wide range of development issues arising from obtaining satisfactory planning permission, negotiating planning and development agreements with local authorities and utility providers and successfully navigating any last minute hurdles which may arise to delay completion.

Contact us

If you have any development queries and would like to speak to a member of the Commercial Property team for some advice please contact us via email or call 0345 872 6666.

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