There are often historical covenants contained within titles, preventing a developer converting a property into much needed residential accommodation. Clearly there will be conflicts with private owners of adjacent property, where there are such restrictions contained within a title but the wider needs of providing accommodation must be balanced.
Where indemnity insurance cannot be obtained, a developer can apply to the Upper Tribunal for a discharge of a restrictive covenant. In the case, Millgate Developments Limited and another v Smith and another  UKUT 515, the Tribunal permitted a restrictive covenant preventing the development of 13 social housing units to be modified, allowing the development to be carried out albeit that compensation of £150,000 was awarded to the owner with the benefit of the covenant.
Although, it is important to note that this development related to the provision of social housing rather than a commercial development and the Tribunal clearly warned developers not to disregard such covenants when developing land.