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Frequently asked questions

General

Why engage a property professional?

Surveyors, Architects, or Planners will be able to offer professional advice as to the risks associated with a purchase or letting. All of the above are monitored by governing bodies to ensure high standards. To learn more, visit https://www.rics.org/uk/ (surveyors), https://www.architecture.com/ (RIBA - architects), and https://www.rtpi.org.uk/ (planners). We also recommend engaging a lawyer for assistance with the transaction, visit https://www.lawsociety.org.uk/ for more information.

What was the site used for formerly?

Our surplus portfolio mostly comprises former gasworks sites. Lots of these sites have been decommissioned, with redundant equipment removed. Some sites still have part of the gasworks on them.

Is it possible to access the property/site for inspection?

Yes you can access the site with one of our agents. Do not enter the site unless escorted, due to health and safety concerns. Many of the sites are viewable from the side of the road, and we encourage you to view the site to determine if it is suitable for your needs.

Are there gas lines or power connections on site?

Easements are present on a few sites where operational mains run underneath. This can restrict (but not prevent) development of these site.

What Services are available on site?

This is variable by site, details of services will be available in property particulars. Please note that SGN have not tested the connections prior to sale, and offer no guarantee as to their appropriateness for your proposed use.

How can I make an offer?

Please discuss all offers with the agent shown on the individual property listing.

Can the site be split to suit my requirements?

The sites are to be sold as a whole, however, should a group of buyers wish to operate together and then split the land post sale, their offer will be considered. In some special cases we will deliberate offers put forward on part of the sites marketed.

Legal

What restrictions are placed on some of the properties within the portfolio which are adjacent to retained gasholders?

It is a requirement for Health and Safety regulations that and land within 18 metres of a gasholder to be subject to a restriction which prevents sources of ignition on the affected land. Some properties within the portfolio will be subject to this restriction. Potential purchasers should seek legal advice to establish the extent of the restriction.

What restrictive covenants (if any) are present on sites?

There may be overage provisions required on some of the sites, where SGN will share in any increase in value created from future planning applications and development. This will be on a case by case basis and will be discussed prior to purchase.

What are the rights of way and easements shown on indicative plans?

Easements shown on the plans relate to underground pipe work. Development over and around these areas of the site will be controlled. 

SGN will retain access rights where required. This will usually be for access purposes to reach operational equipment housed on adjoining, retained land. The access routes are coloured on plans. Access required will vary between sites.

A few of the properties within SGN’s portfolio are subject to long term telecommunications leases. What is the position in the case of such a lease in place, without telecommunications mast or similar apparatus having been erected?

Likely the telecommunications operator will maintain the right to use the leased area for telecommunications purposes. This can be the case even if no mast or other apparatus is in place. Potential buyers are advised to seek legal guidance.

Environmental

Is there contamination present on site?

Interested parties will have environmental records made available to them as part of the Due Diligence pack. Generally, the sites have been cleaned to a standard approved by the relevant regulatory authorities before sale.

Will remediation costs be covered if applicable?

Purchasers should be prepared to pay any future costs which may be incurred.

Planning

What planning class are the sites currently?

The sites are a variety of use classes, please refer to the property particulars. We advise all interested parties instruct a planning professional or the local planning department to confirm suitability for occupation or redevelopment.

What is the Local Authority over the site?

Sites are based over the UK, so planning authorities will differ. Specific details of the relevant planning authority will be given in each set of property particulars. Occupation or development may be subject to planning and building control. We strongly recommend you seek professional advice in these areas prior to purchase.

Financial

How long will the sales process be?

The sales period varies as it relies on both parties agreeing terms. It may take longer than a house sale though, as there are normally more of a conveyance to go through.

What Tax implications will there be in the development or occupation of the sites (i.e.) VAT, CGT, Income Tax?

Please see the relevant brochure for the site to determine whether it is VAT-elected. Taxes such as Income Tax and Capital Gains relate to your personal circumstances and are not something on which we can comment.

How much will I need to contribute to Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL)/S106?

This will relate to the proposed redevelopment and will differ between sites. We recommend you seek advice from a planning specialist to shed more light on likely costs.