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Real Estate Development

Whether you are an experienced property developer, a first-time buyer, or a commercial property funder or investor, you may face legal issues throughout the commercial development process.

From acquiring the land, securing pre-lets, negotiating forward funding terms and working through any construction issues, Thorntons can help you with legal support every step of the way.


Project Issues

Every project has its individual concerns, but there are certain key legal areas to consider with any property development or build.

There are many legal issues that have to be dealt with over the course of a commercial real estate development. These include contracts, funding, warranties, agreements and appointments. In addition, there is also the potential for things to go wrong with problems such as supplier insolvencies and disputes, which need to be handled effectively.

Our dedicated team at Thorntons can help you with all legal aspects of your development, including:

  • Land acquisition
  • Building and engineering contracts
  • Title conditions
  • Neighbour approvals
  • Potential impediments to development.
  • Establishing services and utilities
  • Deeds of condition regarding maintenance and use of the development
  • Dispute resolution

We can also advise on the appointment of consultants and liaise with architects and planners on planning requirements for your commercial premises.

With funding issues, our specialists can advise on funding agreements and areas such as collateral warranties and bonds, covering advance payments, retention bonds and guarantee payments.  

For more information on our construction support services, see our dedicated Construction page.

With a residential development project there are many aspects that may need legal support. These can include:

  • Options, promotion and acquisition contracts
  • Planning agreements
  • Site assembly and third-party issues
  • Deeds of conditions
  • Plot sales
  • Factoring arrangements

Our dedicated Commercial Real Estate team offers legal advice on all aspects of residential development, structuring the legal documentation to suit your project.

If you are changing the use of your premises in your development, for instance changing from retail to offices, then you are likely to need to apply for change of use planning permission. If you do not get the right planning permission, this can cause financial problems and difficulties later as you might be stopped from continuing the new development use until you have applied for and been granted planning permission.

Early advice can tell you if permitted development change of use planning permission is needed. At Thorntons, we can advise you on the land use consent needed for your development and liaise with your planners and architects to ensure you have the necessary planning permissions in place.

Your commercial property development may well have to deal with environmental issues, such as contaminated land, pollution and risk of subsidence.

Our team can advise you on environmental law, highlighting any risks and potential consequences for your development. We can also negotiate and draft any contracts and environmental warranties needed.

How can Thorntons help?

At Thorntons, our dedicated team is well placed to offer advice and assistance on all legal aspects of development or re-development – both commercial and residential. And with our in-depth market knowledge, we are also able to identify local market issues and opportunities for developers.

Our commercial property solicitors have many years of experience in advising clients on the development of a range of commercial property projects, including medical centres, care homes, offices, retail units, warehouses and mixed use schemes. On the residential side, we deal with all types of development, whether mainstream, affordable or mixed tenure, houses, flats or serviced plots, built out in one phase or in a number of phases.

We focus on making the development project process as smooth as possible for our clients and work with their professional teams to facilitate the delivery of the finished development.

Call the Thorntons Commercial Real Estate team on 03330 430350 to find out more about our commercial property development services, or complete an online enquiry form and we will contact you.