If you’re looking to enter the property development market or if you’re already in the business, you’re probably looking for ways to reduce the amount of unknown variables in your project. One of the best ways to do this is through a feasibility assessment. This will help you comprehend whether your site has the right ingredients for securing planning permission.
First, we’ll briefly discuss what a feasibility assessment is. Then we’ll define in greater detail the 5 great lessons you can learn from a feasibility assessment.
First, let’s briefly go over the definition of a feasibility assessment. At bottom, a feasibility assessment is a process whereby you can determine whether a development project is actually possible – that is, whether the proposed development will be granted permission by the council. To do this, we consider the viability of the project (is it possible in principle?), the opportunities implicit in the proposal, the constraints that might limit what we can do and the plan of action for getting the proposal over the finish line.
What’s more, determining a project’s feasibility goes hand in hand with establishing the profitability of the project. If the project isn’t worth the investment, then there’s not much reason to pursue it. In the end, you need to look at as many aspects of the proposal as possible before deciding to continue with the project.
Now let’s focus on the 5 lessons that can be learned with a feasibility assessment. Each of these lessons are essential for determining the best path forward for your project.
First and foremost, feasibility studies will tell you if the development you are considering is viable in principle. Let’s say you’re looking to convert your family dwelling house into self-contained flats. Before you proceed to the conversion and start researching layouts, there may be other factors that need to be considered. For example, a number of councils require the minimum size of the original property to be a particular meterage (generally 120 square meters, but it varies) in order to be considered viable for flat conversion. Once the principle viability is established, we can move on to further analysis.
Performing a feasibility assessment will help to identify the assets of your property or site, and the development opportunities. You will have a clear idea of the strengths of your development and the potential gains.
For instance, you might find that your council (like many councils in London) is in need of new housing stock. If your property helps alleviate the shortfall of homes, you can consider this an opportunity. You may also find that your property has potential for a high return on investment. Or perhaps the property is highly accessible to transportation services. These are just a few examples of the opportunities that might be attached to your project. Of course, every project has different strengths and weaknesses. This why a feasibility assessment is necessary for determining the best path forward for your proposal.
The feasibility assessment will also help you determine whether there is anything that will prevent you from securing planning permission for your development. It will thus give you a clear idea of any obstacles standing in your way. Is it only one thing that can be negotiated, or are there several different restrictions which will minimise the chances of your development being approved?
There are a number of potential considerations that may influence the outcome of your proposal. For instance, you may have to consider the visual appearance in relation to the surrounding area. Any potential noise disturbance, smell or fumes, land contamination, layout issues, loss of sunlight and traffic generation may also have to be considered. Since every project is different, it’s important to use a feasibility analysis (like ours) to determine which elements will pertain to your particular situation.
The feasibility assessment will help you determine whether your project is worth the investment of your time and money. You wouldn’t want to take on an unprofitable project, right? A comprehensive feasibility analysis will help you determine the amount of capital required and the possible return.
Now that you know that technical, legal and financial viability are in place, it is time to prepare the plan of action. Taking into consideration the strengths, opportunities, constraints and risks of your development, you and your architect can discuss further the best way to approach the project.
What type of application is required? Is it permitted development or will your development require full planning permission to be submitted? Perhaps a pre-application meeting will be the best way forward. With more complex developments, it might be worth considering breaking it into a few stages. This will take more time, but the final result could be worth the wait.
With the architectural feasibility report, you will have a clear idea of what you can achieve, what the potential gains are, what the risks are and the best approach for successfully completing your project.
At Urbanist Architecture, we pride ourselves on having a 97 percent success rate for all planning permission applications . As a firm that specialises in the planning permission process, we provide our clients with a bespoke service that tailors to their particular needs. With a multidisciplinary team of architects, engineers and planners, we are more than ready to tackle any issues that might arise during the application process. What’s more, we’ve instituted our own checklist to help determine project feasibility.
By using our feasibility assessment, you can gain key insights into how to develop your property with Urbanist Architecture. Contact us today if you’re looking to increase the value of your development project.