LS Smellie and Sons is a limited company managed between myself and my brother.
We also own a farm in High Blantyre in partnership with our father and have tried to have it promoted for development for over 15 years. As part of LS Smellie and Sons, we also own another area of farmland in Strathaven, which we had previously promoted for 10 years.
On both of the areas of land we own, we worked with major house builders and renewed option agreements twice, but eventually cancelled, as we didn’t like the sound of their terms and the way they had promoted the land.
After a difficult experience we didn’t do anything for a while, thinking we wouldn’t be able get the sites allocated for development. That is until Jason from Wallace Land Investments got in touch, explaining that there was an opportunity for us to promote the land once again. He really empathised with our struggle and understood what we had been through, so we had an initial meeting with him to see how Wallace could help us.
They made it very clear how they would make the planning system work hard for us. Considering we had zero experience of land promotion agreements, Wallace’s ‘no win, no fee’ approach really appealed and having read through the terms we were happy to sign up. It was a ‘no-brainer’ really.
Wallace’s ‘no win, no fee’ approach really appealed and having read through the terms we were happy to sign up. It was a ‘nobrainer’ really.
Managing the entire process, Wallace promoted our land and used the right channels to push it. Their initial job involved speaking to the planners to gauge their opinions on what they would allow. Building up a picture of our land and how it could be successful through planning, Jason then used his experienced consultant team to draw up the necessary brochures to promote it. We couldn’t have done this without their experience.
Jason was very successful in getting both sites allocated through the development plan review process, eventually achieving planning consent on both sites and negotiating the planning gain contributions.
The consents delivered over 200 homes on each site. Once we had a planning consent Jason discussed and agreed with us on how the sites should be marketed and set out a clear sales strategy for us.
As is inevitable with these things, the developers were not straightforward to deal to with. Jason's input and knowledge was incredibly valuable – we didn’t know any tricks of the building trade, and the potential pitfalls designed to ‘trip’ you up. Jason made the whole process simple and talked to us in plain terms that we understood.
We could see Jason’s genuine care for our needs and we maintained a very good working relationship with the Wallace team. The whole process was extremely quick; they’re definitely talented when it comes to talking to planners and other relevant bodies. Acting as a middleman between us, the house builders and solicitors, Jason emailed us throughout to keep us in the loop. We knew we could pick up the phone at any point to ask questions.
Wallace took the hassle out of the whole process, so our only responsibility was to check the paperwork and let them do the rest.
Jason worked hard to get the highest value possible for our land, knowing exactly how to talk to different people and how to present it to the planners. The whole process took three years from inception to sale – a relatively short timescale, considering our previous experience with planning authorities and house builders.
Wallace took the hassle out of the whole process, so our only responsibility was to check the paperwork and let them do the rest. The fact that they independently funded the entire process was also a key factor in our decision. Other land owners try for decades and never get their land allocated and sold. We were very fortunate to have engaged with Wallace Land Investments.
The fact that they independently funded the entire process was also a key factor in our decision.