Roythornes Banner Image

Real Estate

Residential and Commercial Property Development Solicitors

We are market leaders in property development, planning and strategic advice, helping some of the country’s biggest developers make the most of their opportunities.

Our team is hugely experienced in handling heavyweight transactions, often involving hundreds of units, for developers, landowners and housing associations. A strategic, objective approach means we offer not just legal advice, but commercial risk management and invaluable industry expertise.

Our clients benefit from specialists in planning, infrastructure, social housing and estate layout. Roythornes has developed online sales tracking facilities for clients and has one of the largest teams dedicated to plot sales in the East of England.

Our commercial property development and planning expertise

Our commercial property and planning lawyers work with property developers across East England and the wider UK, providing a range of legal services to help you achieve your development goals.


Our team of specialist planning solicitors consists of experienced and commercial-minded experts who are accustomed to handling a wide spectrum of transactions ranging from small bespoke developments to large-scale, strategic infrastructure projects.  We are well placed to advise you on all aspects of planning for your development scheme from strategic site assessment to obtaining planning permission, advising on relevant infrastructure agreements, including planning obligations and all other aspects of the development process to help you achieve your development goals.

Assessing and acquiring sensitive sites

There are various reasons why a potential development site might be considered sensitive or constrained, with environmental concerns being one of the most common issues we come across in practice. We can advise you on the process for assessing and acquiring sensitive or constrained sites working with other industry professionals to advise upon the most appropriate development scheme for your land, including advising upon the need for an Environmental Impact Assessment.

Infrastructure and S106 agreements

As part of granting permission for a development, a local planning authority may require certain planning obligations to be entered into to mitigate the impacts of your proposed development. Planning obligations can include items such as financial contributions towards infrastructure required as a direct result of the development, the provision of public open space, affordable housing provision and other community facilities. 

Our specialist planning solicitors can advise you on the nature of the planning obligations sought by the local planning authority as well as negotiate the terms of the section 106 planning obligation agreement to ensure that the obligations are as flexible as possible and do not detrimentally impact upon the viability of your development scheme.  

Management companies

Getting the right management company for your commercial development is essential to ensure you can see a good return on your investment with the minimum hassle. Our team can advise you on creating the necessary legal agreements and resolving any issues that arise quickly and cost-effectively, allowing you to have a positive working relationship with your management company.

Options and conditional contracts

When acquiring a development site that does not yet have planning permission, it is usually sensible to make sure the contract of sale includes a condition that the sale will only be finalised if planning permission can be secured. Similarly, a contract may be written to include an option agreement, meaning that the sale will only go ahead if planning permission is secured.

The difference is that a conditional contract is enforceable by either party if the condition is met, while an option agreement means it remains up to the buyer whether to go ahead with the deal if planning permission is secured.

Our commercial property lawyers can draft and negotiate conditional contracts and option agreements for all types of site acquisitions, ensuring your commercial interests are protected at all times.

Site assembly and plot sales

Site assembly, also known as land assembly, allows you to form a single site from a number of properties, which is often necessary to facilitate specific development plans. Our team can assist with all aspects of site assembly, helping your development to go ahead as intended.

We can also advise you on all of the legal aspects of plot sales, allowing you to dispose of finished commercial units where this is part of your overall strategy for the development.

Environmental issues

Environmental issues are an increasing concern for property developers, with common issues that must be considered including previous industrial use of sites, potential contamination from nearby industry and regulatory requirements, such as Energy Performance Certificates (EPC) and the Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS).

Our property development lawyers can advise you on your legal obligations in regard to environmental issues, helping to ensure your development is able to go ahead on schedule and on budget while staying fully compliant with all aspects of environmental law.

Get in touch with our real estate solicitors

For further information about our real estate services, get in touch with our team in AlconburyBirminghamNottinghamPeterborough or Spalding