Maximising returns for landowners
Our Land Promotion team brings a holistic approach to residential, commercial, planning, and renewables to deliver success for landowners.
Pigeon is one of the leading land promotion businesses in the UK, through our track record of creating quality schemes with a clear sense of place and character. Our high success rate with planning applications reflects our commitment to the design and engagement stage of the planning process. We believe that listening to all stakeholders and the community is an essential part of what we do.
I have always been impressed with Pigeon’s tenacity, quality of their planning & technical team, and ability to overcome all obstacles.
Tom Fraser, Development Director Savills
We bring a flexible and collaborative approach to Land Promotion, working with landowners to suit their individual needs and objectives. For Land Promotion projects, we generally offer one of the following options:
We promote the land for development at our own risk and cost for an agreed period of time. When planning permission is granted and the land is marketed and sold, Pigeon and the Landowner share the receipt in agreed proportions.
As above, we promote the land for development at our own risk and cost. Once planning permission is granted, Pigeon exercises its option to buy the land from the landowner at an agreed discount to market value.
This is a combination of a promotion agreement and an option agreement and is often used on large strategic sites that may be developed in stages. When planning is granted, Pigeon has the option to buy a fixed part of the site, with the remainder sold on the open market.
On occasion it can take several years for land to come forward for development and Landowners may prefer to realise some value now, in which case Pigeon can purchase the freehold.
We promote the land at our own risk and cost. Having achieved planning permission, Pigeon implements the disposal plan for site, sharing in the land price and the development profit in an agreed proportion. Landowner receipts are typically higher in return for sharing the development risk.
Our track record
Our successful land promotion projects span a broad range of opportunities, including green belt land, land under multiple ownerships, land with existing buildings, previously promoted land, and land suitable for mixed-use development.
Identify the Sites
We use our expertise to select sites with the best prospects of securing planning permission in the short to medium term. Our holistic expertise often sets Pigeon apart from our competitors.
Once we have met the Landowner, we put forward an offer to promote the land using one (or more) of the structures above and agree key terms.
After the terms are agreed, we instruct solicitors to draft the legal agreement. Both parties sign and it becomes legally binding.
Appoint Project Team
Our in-house team of experts from Land Promotion through to Planning and Design works alongside external specialist consultants, to manage the project through to success with Landowner approval throughout.
We agree a planning strategy for the site and start promoting it through the planning process, including extensive engagement with the local community and key stakeholders.
Throughout the process we keep the Landowner informed of progress through regular updates and project meetings.
We prepare a planning application for approval by the Landowner ahead of submission to the relevant local planning authority.
Once planning permission is granted, we work with the Landowner to agree a disposal strategy, in line with their personal and commercial objectives.
In partnership with The Crown and Kilverstone Estates
Pigeon is promoting a major urban extension at Thetford on behalf of The Crown and Kilverstone Estates. We secured planning permission in 2015 for up to 5,000 homes, 22.5 hectares of commercial development, retail, schools, community facilities and public open space. In 2018, the first phase of housing land was sold to Hopkins Homes, a developer of high quality homes that set the bar for this inspiring development. We sold a second phase to Kier Homes in 2019, and a third phase to Taylor Wimpey in 2021. Around 700 plots have now been sold, with over 100 new homes occupied. New power and water supplies are being installed before the next phase of land will be offered for sale.read more
Bury St Edmunds
Around 450 homes
Part of the Council’s Core Strategy and Bury Vision 2031
Pigeon acquired 62 acres of freehold land on the western edge of Bury St Edmunds in May 2018. The land is allocated in the former St Edmundsbury Borough Council’s Core Strategy and Bury St Edmunds ‘Vision 2031’ for the development of around 450 homes, a sub-regional health campus, a relief road, various facilities, and transport improvements. The site is a draft allocation in West Suffolk Council’s emerging Local Plan, which is expected to be adopted in Winter 2024. Our current planning application should be determined during 2023.read more
Total of 370 homes
Includes affordable housing
Pigeon was selected in 2014 to promote a 24.5 acre site to the north of Sherburn in Elmet, North Yorkshire. We secured planning permission for 250 homes, open space, and a new access road onto the A612, and we sold the site to Yorkshire Housing Association in 2019. The housing association completed the development in July 2022, with a mix of one to five bedroom homes including flats, semi-detached and detached properties. Following this successful scheme, we acquired the neighbouring piece of land from the same landowner and took them successfully through the planning process for a further tranche of 120 homes. This site was acquired by Avant Homes in 2022.read more
Excellent location for Newmarket, Cambridge and Ipswich
Pigeon was selected in 2016 to promote 37 acres of land, four miles east of Bury St Edmunds in the thriving Suffolk village of Thurston. We submitted a planning application in December 2016 for 200 homes including nine self-build plots, a primary school and a pre-school site, woodland, and extensive open space.
Mid Suffolk District Council granted planning permission for the scheme in March 2018; the housing site was sold to Linden Homes in September 2018 and construction began in 2019. The primary school is now complete in this popular scheme offering a collection of 2, 3, 4 and 5 bedroom homes in an established countryside setting.
High demand for quality housing
Pigeon was selected in 2011 to promote land at Wickford in South Essex for housing. The land lies within the Metropolitan Green Belt, adjoining an existing housing development and is in area with substantial demand for high quality homes. The land was initially given a draft allocation for 450 homes, and this increased to 1,100 homes as the Basildon Local Plan review progressed. The Local Plan was subsequently withdrawn, and the review is due to resume later in 2023. We will submit a planning application once the draft Local Plan is published, and this much sought-after site will be marketed with planning permission as soon as the Local Plan is adopted.read more
Extensive community facilities
Pigeon was selected in 2015 to promote 80 acres of land east of Stevenage in Hertfordshire, within the Metropolitan Green Belt. The site is in a prime location, with excellent commuter links to London. Following our submission to the East Hertfordshire Local Plan review, the land was removed from the green belt and allocated for housing. In 2019 we submitted a planning application for a high quality development comprising of over 600 new homes, a care home, and substantial community facilities including a school, extensive landscaping and green open space. Planning was granted in 2020 and we sold the site to Redrow Homes in June 2021, marking a five-year turnaround for this prominent site.read more
James Buxton is Chairman of Pigeon and leads the Land Promotion team. He brings experience, integrity and many years of experience in the property industry, having advised landowners, developers, and institutions on all aspects of property development and promotion.
James joined Pigeon in 2010 having spent most of his career at Bidwells, including ten years as Senior Partner. James is a Chartered Surveyor and a Fellow of RICS.
James enjoys collecting old cars, field sports, and a spot of painting.
William is a Founding Director of Pigeon and leads the strategic direction and the company’s business development. He works with the Commercial, Land Promotion and Funding teams at Pigeon.
William was formerly a Board Member of Savills (L&P) Plc, and during his 30-year career has gained extensive knowledge and experience of the property market. He is a founding director of Cambridge Power, one of the largest battery storage companies in the UK.
William is a Chartered Surveyor, a member of the CLA and former Director of the Suffolk Development Agency. He enjoys a range of sports when the seasons allow, including tennis, cricket, golf, skiing, and running the family farm.
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Ed joined Pigeon in June 2019 and is primarily responsible for new business within the Land Promotion team. He also manages a number of existing projects and is involved with the business planning and strategy of the land promotion team.
Ed has previously worked for Countryside Properties, Barratt David Wilson, and Gladman where his roles included securing both strategic and immediate opportunities throughout the East and South East of England, and ongoing project management.
Ed also has experience in the financial markets starting his career at Hawksmoor Investment Management. Ed is a qualified Chartered Surveyor.
Away from work, Ed enjoys activities such as hockey, tennis, skiing, and sailing. He particularly enjoys the opportunity to share these experiences with his young family and introduce them to new adventures.
Carl’s role encompasses many aspects of the Land Promotion business, from finding opportunities to managing projects. His primary focus is on the management of various land portfolios and ensuring budgets and timelines are on target.
Prior to Pigeon, Carl worked in the house-building industry for more than 40 years and has been involved in residential land since 1986.
Carl joined Pigeon because he knows many of the Directors and has worked with several of them in the past. He brings with him a different outlook to the land promotion team after having worked on the other end of the process.
Away from work Carl can be found spending time up on the Norfolk Coast, cooking, and mucking about with his Land Rover.
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Elena is responsible for identifying and appraising new site opportunities, negotiating legal contracts, managing relationships and expectations with landowners and investors, and working alongside Pigeon’s Planning and Design team.
Elena has been at Pigeon since 2015, prior to which she trained as a Chartered Surveyor at Montagu Evans in London, before relocating to Suffolk where she was drawn to Pigeon’s entrepreneurial spirit.
Away from work Elena enjoys spending time outdoors, whether that be walking her Labrador, running, mountain biking or just travelling in general.
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Stuart joined Pigeon in 2023 as Senior Development Manager in the Land Promotion team. He is responsible for managing a variety of projects, working with the team to deliver marketable planning permissions, and managing the final sale of the land to developers.
Stuart began his career at Countryside Properties as a Land Buyer, later moving on to companies such as Redrow and Crest before returning to Countryside as an Associate Development Director. The experience he gained at these companies means he is able to bring housing delivery expertise to enhance the schemes that are developed.
Away from work, Stuart likes to keep himself active by running, cycling, and playing tennis. He also enjoys taking part in outdoor challenges such as canoeing down the river Spey.
Victoria joined Pigeon in 2021 and works within the Land Promotion team. She is responsible for sourcing new land opportunities and managing a number of existing projects throughout their lifespan.
Victoria began her career in 2016 as a graduate at Allsop LLP, and having qualified as a Chartered Surveyor she joined the Residential Transactional and Living Markets team where she focused on Land and Development Agency and Consultancy.
Away from work Victoria enjoys cooking, travelling, golf, and spending time with her friends on the North Norfolk Coast.