Rebecca Mason, development and land specialist at Holmes & Hills Solicitors, worked in partnership with, advised and represented a farmer and land owner in East Anglia over several years to sell 115 acres of land to a national housebuilder for £42.25m, whilst retaining adjacent land.
Holmes & Hills had advised and represented the client in the negotiation and drafting of the original Option Agreement between the Client and the national housebuilder. After several years the national householder exercised the Agreement and purchased tranche one of a potential three tranches covered by the Agreement.
At the point of exercise by the housebuilder, Rebecca advised the Client on amendments to the Option Agreement in order to provide for new terms that had been agreed between the parties; deferred consideration which required securing through a legal charge over part of the sale site (exuding land sold to a housing association); a licence to occupy for a site office and wheel washing facility to be used by employees and contractors of the housebuilder; as well as various overage provisions to include overage related to profit and planning permissions.
Several years following the sale of tranche one, at the point the housebuilder wished to exercise the option to purchase additional land owned by the Client and covered by the Option Agreement, Rebecca advised the Client on the sales of tranches two and three, which were completed within a six month time frame; although each required separate consideration of unique issues.
Rebecca had to advise the Client on issues including ownership and future drainage rights into ditches, public open space, rights of way over and works to the bridleway, as well as a new compound licence for the housebuilder. The Client was retaining land adjacent to the large tranches already sold or being sold for development and Rebecca therefore needed to carefully consider and advise on any potential implications for access to, use and farming of, as well as future development potential of the retained land. Rebecca also advised on and provided A Memorandum of Agreement which was required in order to fix a completion date rather than relying on the completion date as calculated in the option agreement dating back several years.
The farmer and landowner was able to successfully sell his land, using Rebecca and her colleagues to advise throughout all stages of the process, from the initial Option Agreement through to the sale of three separate tranches.
Rebecca’s extensive knowledge and prior experience in dealing with national developers meant she was able to complete all the required legal work and protect the client’s existing and future interests throughout the negotiations and drafting, enabling the client to have just one legal point of contact during the process, spanning several years.