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Development Finance Process & Criteria

Learn more about the process of applying for development finance & lender criteria

ABC Finance Reviews
Gary Hemming Headshot

Author: Gary Hemming CeMAP CeFA CeRGI CSP
20+ years experience in property development finance

We always try to make the process of securing development finance as simple and transparent as possible for our clients. ABC Finance Ltd have a team of experienced development finance advisors on hand to talk you through every step of the process, and secure the lowest rates for your circumstances.

Read on below to find out more about the development finance process and even read up on the latest criteria, or fill in the form to talk to an expert. To offer you even more of an insight into the current market, we have a selection of in-depth guides.

The development finance process

The application process for development finance runs as follows:

1Before talking to anybody, you will need to work out a rough idea of costs, end value, profit margin, how long the project will take and viability.
2You will then discuss your needs with either a lender or broker who will talk things through and assess the project.
3Assuming the scheme is viable, you will then receive a quote in writing detailing the interest rate, fees and headline borrowing terms, along with a list of documents needed to submit a full application.
4The application will be completed and submitted to the lender (if submitted through us, they will be submitted alongside a comprehensive report on the project).
5If the lender is happy with the initial application, they will want to meet you and visit the site. This helps to understand the project and build a relationship between you and your dedicated lending manager. We will work with you to arrange the site visit and will often attend to help you to answer any questions.
6After the site visit has been completed, your lending manager will usually take your application to the credit committee. These are the underwriters who sign off the application as acceptable to the lender. Once approved, the lender will issue the formal offer, subject to valuation and legal work.
7A surveyor is instructed to compile a valuation report on the project. It will be comprehensive, covering the current value, anticipated build costs, anticipated gross development value and expected demand.
8Your solicitor is instructed to carry out the legal work and satisfy all conditions. They will run through the terms of the agreement and ensure you fully understand the loan. Once satisfied, you will sign the formal offer and return it to the lender. It is important that your solicitor is experienced in dealing with development finance as inexperience here can slow the process down significantly.
9Once all of this is done, the funds can be released, and the loan completed. Note that only the first stage of funds is released to your solicitor.

Development finance criteria

As whole of market brokers, we work with lenders across the market to secure the most suitable terms for you. Most development finance lenders assess applications on a case by case basis, the below examples are intended only as a guide.

Loan sizes

We can fund property developments from £50,000, with no maximum loan size. For loans below £50,000, we may still be able to lend, however, a property refurbishment finance product may be more appropriate.


The term of your development finance can run from 1 to 36 months. Most applications tend to be arranged over a term of 12-24 months.

Acceptable security

Any security considered, with or without planning permission.

Acceptable borrowers

We can lend to the following borrowers:

  • Private borrowers
  • Pension schemes
  • Partnerships
  • Limited companies
  • Offshore companies

Applicants must be aged 18 or above. SPV Ltd. companies can borrow from start up and there is no requirement for previous trading history.


We can lend in the following places:

  • England
  • Scotland
  • Wales
  • Northern Ireland

We are often able to offer special, low-rate finance for applications in large cities including London, Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool and others.

Credit history

Funding can be offered regardless of credit history, as long as you are not currently bankrupt. If your credit history is particularly bad, or if you have a number of failed developments, lending may be restricted and interest rates higher.

Loan purpose

We can offer funds for any type of property development, including ground up development, part build schemes and conversions.

Planning permission

Funding is available for sites with or without planning, if the planned works during the term of the loan are in keeping with local planning and building regulation laws.

Exit strategy

Any exit strategy considered. The planned exit route must be realistic and will be sense checked prior to being accepted. The most common exit strategies are either the sale or refinance of the scheme once completed.

What if my details don’t meet the criteria above?

We always aim to help as much as possible, so if your circumstances don’t quite meet the criteria above, get in touch using the form at the top of the page and we’ll talk it through with you.

Read more – Understanding how development finance funds are released.