Planning & Environment

The recent Scottish Government Report identified legal agreements (section 75s) as the second most common reason for delays in securing planning permission for housing.

Top 10 tips for avoiding delays:

1. Think ahead. Too often details are not considered until the solicitors have begun to adjust the agreement and ask for instructions.
2. Inexperienced developers often don’t anticipate the need for a legal agreement – check early in the procedure – some planning authorities require developer contributions from single house developments.
3. Discuss the need for a legal agreement with the planning authority as soon as the prospect is known; before the application is submitted is not too soon.
4. Identify the type of legal agreement required and scope out the likely obligations.
5. Avoid vague Heads of Terms, and identify the individual obligations and trigger points for payment of financial contribution or delivery of other contributions, not simply headings and amounts.
6. If a section 75 agreement is needed make sure that all the relevant parties are aware and have advised their solicitors- applicant, landowner, tenant, secured lender, etc.
7. Make sure the relevant title information is clear and up to date.
8. Consider the provision of a certificate of title to the planning authority.
9. Find out what the planning authority requires to complete the process. Councils practices differ.
10. Does the planning authority have a template or pro forma agreement?
Report by Scottish Government here.

Lee Murphy

Lee Murphy

Associate at Brodies LLP
Lee Murphy has over 20 years’ experience in planning law in the private and public sector; advising planning authorities, developers and land owners. She has advised on all aspects of the development plan process and planning applications for a wide variety of large and smaller developments.
Lee Murphy