Land development feasibility study is a bit different than property development feasibility, and it is mostly used to assess the best option for a land subdivision.

Consider a scenario where a developer (master developer) acquires a large piece of land with the purpose of sub-dividing it and selling to smaller developer. Usually, master developer provides infrastructure and utility to the newly created plot boundary. To assess the profitability of such venture, the master developer conducts land development feasibility study.

Land development feasibility study

In any project requiring property development, the most important factor is the land. It is particularly important to ascertain the potential of the land. The potential of the land relates to many areas like the geo-stability of the land, its socio-political value, market value, and its growth prospects, and so much more.

A land development feasibility study provides all the relevant information to ascertain the practical and commercial viability of the selected land or plot.

What is Land Development Feasibility Study?

Land development feasibility study is an analytical and systematic insight and study into the viability criteria of a selected plot or land. 

A land development feasibility study systematically collates all information and data on all the factors that make a plot or land worth investing in. It is a study of the potential of the land about how the land adds value to the property project, and how suitable it is for the proposed property development.  

The purpose of the land development feasibility study is to collect and study data to help the property developer to ascertain:

  • Commercial viability of the land
  • Geo-stability of the land
  • Social value and environment of the land
  • Future growth potential of the land
  • The value a piece of land adds to the project
  • Suitability of the land for the proposed property development undertaking
  • Probable challenges that the land poses
  • The rules, regulations, and zonal laws around the land
  • The advantages the land offers
  • The flora and fauna and natural environment of the land like forests, rivers, vegetation, animal profile etc. 

These are some of the important factors that influence the worth of a land. Accurate statistics and data and research of these influencing factors, through a land development feasibility study, helps the property developer to move forward with the design and development with greater confidence, credibility and efficiency.

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Objective of Land Development Feasibility Study 

There are many areas of a piece of land or plot that need to be researched upon, before embarking upon building a property on it. 

A good land development feasibility study helps to determine the suitability and the readiness of a piece of land for a proposed property project, whether for commercial use or personal use. It ascertains:

  • How to maximise the advantages the land offers
  • How to minimise damages and risks
  • How to fortify and protect the project and property against environmental hazards like cyclones, earthquake, storms, floods, blizzards, extreme heat or cold, heavy monsoons etc. 
  • How to develop the best suited design
  • How to lay out the best plan, which also safeguards the flora and fauna and natural resources of the area
  • A land feasibility study considers all the features and challenges of a plot of land to determine if building on it is practical and profitable or not

The objective of the land development feasibility study is to compile an analytical study on a “Land-Use Profile” that holistically defines how the land can be used. 

Land-Use Profile in Land Development Feasibility Study.

Land-Use profile sums up the entire essence of the land development feasibility study. In a nutshell, Land-Use Profile is a study that determines how the land can be used to its highest potential, and bring in the best returns for the investment on it.

Land-Use Profile helps to determine:

  • Compatibility of the land with the proposed design and goal of the property to be developed on it
  • Location of the land, which is a crucial factor in determining the practical and commercial viability of the property developed on it. Also, location of the land determines the accessibility of the property, and the easy availability of the utilities for it
  • Comparative analysis on advantages of the selected land over other land-uses in an area. This supplies adequate data and argument as to why a particular land is preferred over other land in any given area
  • Mapping or Cartographic representation is an important segment of Land-Use Profile in a land development feasibility study

A Land-Use profile takes into consideration

  • Physical development in the proposed area
  • Social Environment of the area about its classification based on monetary worth, social worth, and income profile of the area
  • The existing pattern of ongoing development in the area
  • A research outline that helps to predict the future use of the land

A Land-use profile collates all the information on past development, with the existing market structure, and the development prospects of the future. It takes into consideration people specific factors like:

  • personal opinions
  • desires
  • attitudes
  • legal and political considerations.

All of these impact the Land-Use Profile. A Land-Use Profile is an integral part of Land Development Feasibility Study, as it determines the most efficient and the most ethical use of the land, aligned with all applicable conditions, to unfold its highest potential, and minimise losses and damages.

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Key Components of Land Development Feasibility Study 

There are many factors that characterise a land profile. The physical structure, commercial value, social environment, natural environment, all of these factors add up to define the profile of a land or plot. 

A detailed study and analysis of the key components of a land profile is integral to a good Land Development Feasibility Study, that gives credibility to the property project, and gives the developer the confidence to move ahead.  

  • Challenges

Challenges are part and parcel of any venture. A clear understanding of the difficulties a proposed land area poses, is important in order to create those requisite changes in the design and planning, to ensure smooth, efficient and risk free operations. In a land development feasibility study, the challenges are primarily divided into two segments:

  • Challenges of the Physical Environment: This involves a study of: 
    • topography of the area
    • flora and fauna
    • geographic conditions like soil structure, water bodies, forests etc.
    • climatic conditions 
    • stability of the land, as to whether it shifts or is set
  • Challenges of the Social Environment: This involves a study of
    • The people demographic on salary, work environment etc.
    • The socio-political environment of the area
    • The commercial prospects of the area
    • Rules and regulations
    • Permissions

It is important to know these challenges and set a budget and a contingency plan for it, as well as weave it into the design, to ensure a successful and smooth project completion. Challenges are potential setbacks and they can severely affect the budget. Awareness about challenges reduces the risk of damages and slow-downs

  • Availability of Utilities

Utilities are essential for any property. Regular, unobstructed electricity supply, water supply, natural gas connectivity, septic and drainage systems, sewage lines, roads, are an integral and necessary aspect of property development. Without proper supply of essential utilities, all development is a failure. A Land Development Feasibility Study compiles and collates critical information on utilities required, and their difficult or easy availability, and also the cost of acquiring and setting up the utilities on the property.

  • Understanding of the Property Goals

Every property is built or developed with an agenda. There is a specific purpose to it. The property may be developed as a private residence, or a commercial property. It may be for personal use, or public use. Or it may be for agricultural purposes. The goal or the agenda of the property dictates the design and architecture and structure of the property development.

Every design is not suitable for every land. A land Development Feasibility Study defines a clear understanding of the purpose of the property, which helps to ascertain if the proposed design and land are suitable for each other and worth investing on. Or perhaps the design needs some modifications to become more viable. 

  • Budget and Cost         

A financial review is an important part of every stage of the property development. A Land Development Feasibility Study provides an accurate insight into the cost of developing a land and making it ready for the proposed property development. It involves the cost of demarcating, levelling and clearing of the proposed land.

  • Accessibility of the Land

Accessibility of the land is very important for the valuation of the property, and for determining its market value, potential and future prospects. How can the property be accessed or reached, is a very crucial part of Land Development Feasibility Study. Whatever the mode of travel, Rail, Air, Road or Water or a combination of the four, it must be accurately defined in a Land Development Feasibility Study.

  • Rules and Regulations and Legalities

Every area has its own set of legalities, rules and regulations to adhere to. A Land Development Feasibility Study must clearly provide data on all the zonal laws and rules that need to be adhered to, while developing the property. This helps to ensure smooth and efficient execution of the project.

  • Permissions

Permissions are a key component of the Land Development Feasibility Study. Prior to embarking upon the development, certain permissions need to be acquired from the local governing bodies. Without these permissions and licenses, the property will be considered illegal. A budget needs to be set in place for acquiring the permissions, legal processes and consultations. A Land Development Feasibility Study provides a detailed insight into the permissions and licenses required to develop the proposed property, and also the budget needed for all the documentation.

Conclusion

When narrowing down on the most appropriate and suitable site for a land development project, it is important to have accurate information and statistics on all areas of influence on that land. A land development feasibility study provides a crucial and an in-depth insight into all aspects, challenges and advantages surrounding the land selected for the proposed property development.

A land development feasibility study determines if the property development project is viable on the selected land or not. Or how it can be modified to bring in the best results.

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