Land Sourcing – Helping You Buy Land

Bob Hilder is the co-owner and strategic land director of Landpro Consultants. He worked in the 1980s as a Land-Buyer in a major PLC, rising to the ranks of Regional Land Manager. Bob compares and contrasts his role as a Land Consultant, to that of a Land-Buyer that he once was, within a Developer-company.


Finding Development Land For Sale

The two roles mirror one another – we study Local Plans and Housing Implementation Strategies, keeping an ear to the ground for residential redevelopment opportunities as well as reviewing Planning Applications and networking with Landowners.

Developing relationships with Developers and landowners is where the difference lies, as Bob’s role is to introduce the site to a Developer who is going to meet the Landowners’ deadlines – and Bob makes it his job to find out which Developers are active and motivated in the market at any given time.

Helping Developers Buy Land in the UK

Bob manages the processes of planning, financial, environmental and legal aspects of land-buying – whilst ensuring that he is dealing with a decision-maker at the Developer Company (usually at Managing Director, or Land Director level).

There is nothing more galling than progressing a site almost through to exchange when a Board Decision leads to a move of no confidence in the site’s acquisition.
Having worked in the industry, Bob understands the needs of a Land-Buyer, how he/she must work out the costs of acquisition, standard build costs, site overheads, ‘abnormals’ sub-totals, and Fees for Architects, Sales, etc, marketing and any other on-going costs; issues around Planning and Affordable/Social Housing – all whilst being able to read and understand Site Plans.

When assessing a site’s potential, Bob is able to rapidly gauge potential planning issues which the local Planners will identify very early on.

Now in his 28th year, it is rewarding to have referrals and recommendations to follow up. So you see, Bob really does ‘speak a Land-Buyer’s language’.

Evaluating Sites For Property Development

Our team conducts in-depth evaluations of open market and discrete projects, plus joint ventures on brownfield and greenfield land. We also provide research into ecology, services, Highways, sales rates, and pricing.

Land buyers are tasked with consideration of the GDV (Gross Development Value) of a site, thereafter applying a percentage (often between 30-40%) to arrive at a land value, depending on the location and type of scheme.

As a Land Consultant, I work similarly, with the added value of considering build costs per square foot/square metre, finance servicing costs, Return on Capital Employed (ROCE) and resale values.

This serves to give valuable insight into how a Developer will look at a site and his decision-making process.
Also considered are the housing mix and local policy requirements – feasibility studies are an important part of the role.

Land Selling Story

Developers may approach land-owners direct, but dealing directly may not be in the Landowner’s best interest – especially to accept an offer without proper legal representation, thrashing out acceptable Heads of Terms and sound advice on the pros and cons of the various options available.

The land deal may appear more attractive without having to pay Agent’s fees, but having only one offer may not reflect the true value of the land. Expertise, speed of decision, and avoiding a ‘bidding war’ may appear preferable, but having several purchasers in the frame will generally lead to establishing the true value of the land.

The added value of a Land Consultant is being able to understand and dissect a variety of offers, provide objective opinions, and present the best (which is not always the highest) offer to the Landowner.

A Developer Company may have access to its own team of planners, financiers, site managers etc but a Land-Buyer could work up a site for months which is then rejected by the Board.

As a Consultant, tenacity and technical ability are more the mainstays, and certainly industry experience is critical.

Call or Email our experienced Land Team in confidence today!

Cost v Overhead

Developers generally employ their Land teams as part of their business overheads. As a Land Consultant, I am a ‘cost of development’.

Knowledge & Experience

We have worked since 1991 with local, regional and national builders, predominantly across the South, but also throughout the rest of the UK. We advise Developers on residential land opportunities, acquisition, disposal, planning legislation and, together with our partners, on a range of technical issues which require the services of a Chartered Surveyor.

We ensure Developer buyers are committed and our consultative approach generally ensures fewer problems at the latter stages of negotiations. Some sites take months or years to come to fruition, especially when dealing with strategic land ventures.


  • Sourcing development land
  • Strategic land opportunities
  • Brownfield/Greenfield sites, with or without planning permission
  • Promotion of strategic land parcels through the local development framework LDF
  • Formation of assembly sites with adjoining landowners
  • Expert advice and guidance on all technical aspects
  • Market research
  • Valuations
  • Expert Witness provision

Strategic Land Work

We leave little to chance when working on Strategic sites, and our objectives include:

Accountability: to evaluate whether the Developer will deliver on price and in a favourable timescale for the Vendor/Landowner.

Prioritization: to oversee negotiations with all parties, liaison and follow up to ensure the project is delivered in the best time-scales

Read our Case Studies to gain insight into the types and locations of sites we have acquired for Developers.


Why Choose Landpro Consultants

A specialist land agent with 30+ years of residential property experience

Unrivalled professional reputation in the South East

Excellent senior-level contacts in the property development industry

Strategic land acquisition/disposal advice, with proven tangible successes

Unique expertise in all areas of residential development consultancy

Option and Promotion Agreement specialists


What our clients say...

Landpro Consultants has inexhaustible energy, enthusiasm and commitment in driving projects forward, through all stages of the process, realising maximum potential and securing a sale. I can speak from first-hand experience having acted for landowners in many Landpro Consultants projects, large and small, since the firm was established in 1991.

Kingsley Roger-Jones

When it comes to buying and selling land make no mistake it's not an easy process, which is why Reside Developments engages the services of Landpro Consultants for best advice and introductions to land owners and investors. The company has demonstrated that it has a keen eye for searching out suitable development sites and also the tenacity to progress the more challenging projects. It's a pleasure to work Landpro Consultants.

Richard A S West, Managing Director, Reside.

Thanks Bob and everyone at Landpro Consultants. Brilliant job… a significant achievement given at times the odds were stacked against us. Thank you everyone.

K Wawman – Crayfern Homes

I have been in practice as a Chartered Surveyor and Planning Consultant for some 55 years in West Sussex. Following the opening of Bob Hilder’s practice I have instructed him on behalf of Clients wishing to sell land following the grant of planning permission, or in cases where there is an expectation of permission. In such cases Bob has very successfully introduced developers who have obtained permission and then developed the land, or taken a percentage of the sale price. His expertise has enabled me to dispose of several large areas of housing land and development opportunities throughout the County.


I have worked with Landpro Consultants more or less since their launch. We have undertaken significant business to our mutual benefit. Over the years I have found their support and approach to land introduction and land sales to be professional, inclusive and always with an eye on the end result. Bob builds strong relationships between all the parties which often paves the way for transactions to complete smoothly

Scott Chamberlin | Divisional Managing Director - Strategic Land | Miller Homes

There can be little question that no one knows their market better Landpro Consultants. Bob and his team have a tenacious approach which matches the most appropriate developer/promoter with the right opportunity achieving the best result for all concerned.

Kevin Willcox, BA(HONS); BTP; MRTPI Land Director   Rydon Homes Ltd


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