We recently talked about the challenge of finding the right piece of vacant land for development, and discussed the zoning, topography, and the availability of municipal services.

There are additional questions that you should be asking of your property agent to make sure that you don’t trip over hidden problems later.


Something that very seldom shows up on a property diagram, and rarely comes up unless you specifically ask the question, is the matter of conservancy areas. While these areas are called by different names depending on the municipality, the basic premise is that these are open spaces kept as “green” areas. They may form part of a protected area, contain endangered fauna or flora, or form part of a wetland area.

Whatever the reason, you need to fully understand these restrictions up front as they will impact your land usage considerably.


Whether you are planning a residential development, a business park, or a factory, you will need to assess the access to this property. Homeowners are not going to want to exit their home onto a motorway, and conversely, a factory owner will need fair public access to allow his staff to get into work.

Property size

The size of the property will be a key indicator of the buildings you can place on it. The F.A.R (Floor Area Ratio) will come into play to dictate the number of dwellings you can build on any given lot. Commercial and industrial buildings will need additional space for loading access and parking. All of these formulae need to be run before putting pen to paper.

This list is by no means exhaustive. Other matters which are likely to surface while considering a land development may be land claims, contaminated property, land shape, or soil percolation testing.

If you need a professional on your side, then chat to one of our skilled team. We will be happy to assist you with property surveying, valuation, and good sound advice. Visit us at www.property-valuation.co.za.