A newly-developed draft guidance report of best practices for the measurement of land has been published by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).

The document, which aims to regulate the property and planning sector more effectively, could have far-reaching implications for development surveyors, planners, architects and government administrators across the globe, if these standards become universally accepted.

The clear definitions for the measurement of land and associated metrics set out by lead-author and British chartered surveyor Jonathan Manns, are expected to ensure greater consistency if enforced worldwide.

Zeus – MPU 1

A consultation on the draft guidance runs until 17th September, prior to formal adoption at the end of the year.

Redefining the way land is measured

The five core definitions proposed in the guidance document include Land Area, Site Area, Net Development Area, Plot Area and Site Coverage. These principles are designed to help with the measurement of land and transcend national definitions, for the benefit of property sectors globally.

Being highly relevant to lawyers, agents, property planners and valuers among individuals in other sectors and jurisdictions whose work relies in some way on accurate property measurements, these new standards will be a combination of existing metrics and new definitions.

Regulating the property sector

Tony Mulhall, associate director of the Land Professional Group at RICS, commented: “RICS is committed to regulating the property industry in the public interest, with the accurate and consistent measurement of land and property being absolutely fundamental to this.”

He added: “This Guidance is an important step forward which will harmonise practice in the built environment profession for the better around the world.”

Jonathan Manns, the guidance lead-author and a well-known urban planner, commented: “This guidance represents a step change in the way that land is measured around the world. By introducing a clear and standardised approach, it will profoundly improve the accuracy and consistency of measurements for those buying, selling and valuing land as well as those seeking to propose or determine applications to develop it.”

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Jim Kersey
Jim focuses on the socio-economic impact of housing. His reporting for Property Notify often touches on topics such as changes in sentiment among investors in various housing sectors, as well as the impact of various developments on the average person.

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