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Acquiring and developing land into a medical or healthcare practice

Are you considering acquiring a new property with the intention to build a medical or healthcare practice?

Taking the first step to develop a medical or allied health practice can be a daunting process.

Where do you start?

The first step is to do your due diligence and find out if your intentions can become reality. It is important that you understand whether the property can be used for the proposed purpose, developed into the practice (including the construction of a new building) and consider whether the proposed practice can be subdivided (if intended).

It is also necessary to consider the structure at the outset so that there are no adverse consequences, such as the liability to pay additional stamp duty.

Our Property & Planning Team are well equipped to advise you on the entire process from the initial planning stages, through to acquiring the land until completion of the development.

We recommend obtaining a pre-acquisition legal due diligence planning and property report at the outset, to ensure there are no surprises after embarking on a project and purchasing a property.

Our pre-acquisition legal due diligence planning and property report includes advice on the outcome of our investigations on the following planning issues and action items depending on the extent of our instructions:

  • planning scheme controls affecting the property – zone, overlays and other relevant controls in the Council’s planning scheme;
  • planning permit requirements for the proposed use and development of the property (this includes any building works) – planning authorisation may be required for several components of a proposal, including any separate proposed uses at the same premises;
  • site specific requirements or restrictions under the planning scheme or on title such as any restrictive covenants or land use agreements;
  • planning policies and decision guidelines under the scheme that will affect the assessment of the specific proposal;
  • the outcome of any pre-application consultation with potential referral authorities and expert consultants if the property is affected by heritage, flooding, significant vegetation or other overlays;
  • the outcome of any pre-application meeting with Council;
  • requirements to lodge an application including costs, information and documents including any expert reports in support of application;
  • steps in the permit application process, potential timing and delays; and
  • potential VCAT applications that can add time and cost to complete the development.

In addition, our report includes pre-acquisition title searches to check whether there are any restrictive covenants or land use agreements on title and other matters. Council is unable to issue planning permits for any development that contravenes a restrictive covenant registered on a title.  We will also review and report on any documents and disclosures made by the vendor including Vendor Statements (Section 32s), the terms of a proposed Contract of Sale and any conditions we recommend you include in the Contract to assist you with your due diligence and development requirements.

Our pre-acquisition planning and property report will provide a legal assessment based on the proposed medical or healthcare practice, any legal risks and our recommendations. There are a number of planning considerations that will be relevant to a medical practice proposal as well as site and neighbourhood specific issues.

Whether you are looking to undertake a planning due diligence pre or post acquisition, we are here to help.  If you have already acquired a property, we can tailor our due diligence to the stage and information available at the time.  Preferably, a legal planning and property due diligence will be undertaken before committing to the purchase of a property so that you understand your rights and obligations to develop the land before you are contractually bound to complete the purchase of the land.

Following acquisition, we can assist you with your journey of developing the property. This may include your planning application, dealing with Council and potential objectors, liaising with your consultants including architect and surveyor, drafting or advising on any land use agreements required for the development and subdividing the property, if applicable.

So, in addition to consulting your professional advisers in relation your financial budget and business planning and structures, it is prudent to discuss your proposal with property and planning lawyers experienced in medical practice proposals to help ensure the ultimate choice of location will result in the success of your venture.

At Burke & Associates Lawyers, we provide expert legal advice specifically tailored to assist you in purchasing, developing or subdividing property. Our all-inclusive approach will ensure you are set up for success by covering the relevant aspects of planning, property, development and commercial matters. To discuss further, please contact Kristy Muhlhan, Principal, who heads our Property and Property Development Team or Annabel Viner, Special Counsel, Planning Law at Burke & Associates Lawyers on kmuhlhan@burkelawyers.com.au and aviner@burkelawyers.com.au  respectively, or +61 3 9822 8588.

Contacts

Kristy Muhlhan

Principal

Kristy Muhlhan

Principal
LL.B (Hons) GRAD DIP. L.P., GAICD.
Since 2014, she has been an owner and Principal of the firm and has mastered a broad range of essential commercial and business skills which go hand in hand with the work she does for...

Stewart Davis

Associate

Stewart Davis

Associate
LL.B (Hons) B.Com
As well as property law, Stewart has had exposure to VCAT administration matters and commercial law, particularly servicing developer clients.

George Hanger

Associate

George Hanger

Associate
LL.B BA
George was admitted to legal practice in May 2015 after completing a Bachelor of Arts at the University of Melbourne and a Bachelor of Laws at Monash University.

Emma Dickens

Paralegal

Emma Dickens

Paralegal
Emma previously completed a Bachelor of Legal and Dispute studies at RMIT University in 2015.

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