Developing property in Scotland—site acquisition and vacant possession
Produced in partnership with Stuart King of Blackadders
Developing property in Scotland—site acquisition and vacant possession

The following Property guidance note Produced in partnership with Stuart King of Blackadders provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Developing property in Scotland—site acquisition and vacant possession
  • Access
  • Servitudes
  • Utilities
  • Real Burdens
  • Rights of pre-emption
  • Community Right to Buy
  • Temporary rights over neighbouring land
  • Archaeological and/or human remains
  • Boundaries
  • more

The viability and success of a development site depends on obtaining satisfactory answers to a range of legal and practical questions. While attention tends to focus on the headline commercial terms of a deal, and on major issues such as planning permission, roads construction consent and environmental investigations, it is essential not to overlook issues that may cause significant delay, or even preclude successful development.

Access

Direct access to the nearest adopted road can be fundamental to a development's viability. A developer will rely on the information disclosed in a property enquiry certificate (PEC) in this regard, but it is also imperative to see a roads adoption plan, which will disclose the extent of the road which has been taken over by the local authority for maintenance and will confirm, for example, the extent of the verge included in that adoption. It may be appropriate to submit a plan of the intended development along with the application for the property enquiry certificate so that the boundaries of the land can be compared with the extent of the adopted road. See Practice Note: Investigating title in Scotland—searches and enquiries—the basics—Standard searches for all transactions.

It may also be necessary for the application for the PEC to specify that the land is to be acquired for development purposes. In addition, buyers should repeat