Land for housing and development: Research on transparency of Options Agreements

  • Scottish Land Commission
  • 16/11/2022
Researcher, Senior researcher, Project lead Democracy and Governance Housing Urban and Regional Development

Description

As part of our work on reforming land markets, SLC intends to commission a suitably experienced contractor to examine the benefits, barriers, and options around improving transparency to improve the ways in which we bring forward land for housing.
 
This research will review existing evidence, and conduct primary qualitative research with key stakeholders, to examine the Commission’s recommendation to “Introduce a new transparency obligation that would require options agreements and conditional contracts over land to be disclosed on a public register.” The research will explore the benefits to implementing this recommendation, as well as any barriers, before suggesting options for a public record of options agreements and conditional contracts on raw land.
 
The objectives of this work are:
  1. To understand what level of information is available on land optioned for housing development in Scotland.
  2. To set out the case for transparency versus arguments for commercial confidentiality.
  3. To suggest options for a public record of options agreements and conditional contracts on raw land.
The purpose of this work is to take forward the Commission’s recommendation from previous research that there should be transparency obligation that would require information about options agreements and conditional contracts over land to be publicly available. This current project is about making the case for this and exploring the barriers to doing so, as well as outlining some potential options for the practical implementation of this recommendation.
 
The focus of this work is to:
  • Confirm the current availability of information on optioned land
  • Examine the often-cited barrier to transparency of ‘commercial confidentiality’
  • Explore the opportunity cost to communities and local authority planning departments of the current lack of clarity over the location and control over optioned land
  • Outline potential options for the practical implementation of a transparency obligation around options agreements

Project Type

Consulting - Tender opportunity

Budget

GBP 15,000 excl. of VAT

Application deadline

02/12/2022