Over the last five years, 1/3 of our reports exposed one or more high-risk sites within 75 metres.
In the first half of 2023, this increased to 36% of our reports and is now tracking at 40%.


Location is the most important factor when determining property value. As a buyer, you should be fully informed about the risk of development in the local area.

Your solicitor has a duty of care to inform you about the content of all searches and reports they order. If they don’t – you may have grounds for legal action.

Unfortunately, in standard conveyancing packages, property locations are not analysed for the risk of development nearby, and any development change could impact the appeal and value of your property. Risk-averse buyers should insist on a DevAssist report.

We believe so passionately that all buyers should have access to the local planning data that we are in discussion with the Law Society Committee to recommend changes to standard conveyancing guidelines and procedures.

We want all buyers to access a best-practice level of service, and we are on a mission to make it happen.

Buying a home is a huge emotional investment as well as a financial investment. This is especially true if you’ve made your decision based on factors such as proximity to a park or amenities, desirable views, a quiet road, or peaceful surroundings.

All of these factors are at risk from development change in your area.

The good news is that you can be informed about changes that will impact these factors before deciding whether to proceed with a property purchase or not.

Buying a property is the biggest financial risk we undertake, and this decision is often based only on a 20-minute viewing of the property. We rely on conveyancing solicitors to delve into the finer details to ensure we can make an informed decision and to help protect us from making a poor investment.

Proceeding to buy a property where the location has not been analysed for development risk could mean it has been valued incorrectly, exposing you to the risk that the property is worth significantly less than what you paid for it or will be challenging to sell in the future.

Development change in your area
Planned and current development changes


Property development, whether it’s on a large scale, such as a housing development or on a domestic scale, such as a neighbour’s extension, is happening all around us and in more and more unexpected places.

Planned and current development changes commonly exposed with DevAssist Reports

  • Greenbelt, farmland and community parkland development
  • Hostile, largescale planning applications in councils not meeting the housing supply policy.
  • Change of use developments
  • Road and access development affecting traffic volume, noise and long periods of roadworks
  • Neighbours’ extensions and building works which will impact a property’s light and views


Some solicitors only carry out the most basic of searches through their conveyancing services. We would recommend not using these solicitors.

An in-depth investigation of a location beyond the boundary is critical to the conveyancing process and your peace of mind. If you’re being offered standard searches only, you are at very real risk of discovering significant development change in your area after buying your dream home.

We are the only company in the country that investigates locations for imminent and potential development change and share this information in accessible, user-friendly reports.


Choosing the right solicitor


We advise all buyers to do their due diligence before appointing your conveyancing firm. Not all firms operate to the same level of customer service, the disparity in service levels is vast. Purchasing a property is expensive, so it’s important to work with a firm you can trust.

  • Never choose a solicitor based on cost alone. Ask yourself why they are cheaper; what is being compromised for them to offer the service at such a low cost? It is likely to be their time and attention on your property that is the compromise.
  • Get personal recommendations from friends and families.
  • Ask the firm if they use DevAssist and what other investigations they do before appointing.

A solicitor that uses DevAssist to audit your property’s location is leaving no stone unturned in their service provision to you. They want you to have access to all the information you need about a property before making this significant investment.

“That’s the ‘Power’ of the report! I hope you see this as a positive outcome? Your Client, in all probability, would not have received the same level of service elsewhere.”

Regional Account Manager

TM Group