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Planning Permission - When buying land

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Chems

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I was watching Grand Designs last night and they never really talk about the land or the planning permission process. It starts after that. But I'm sure its a massive consideration. How do you suppose they get the land, it can't be land already with detailed planning permission because usually the grand designs aren't very normal so wouldn't fit in. What sort of land do you think people usually buy for home building. I know the gov is trying to free up land, does that mean its easier to get permission to convert field to housing land? Just wondering if anyone has experience of buying land with the aim to building a house and what the process is like.
 

Jacob

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You'd apply for outline PP in advance. This would increase the value (and the cost) of the land enormously but if you didn't it'd be a gamble.
 

Digit

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Yep! But the increase is such that the gamble could be worthwhile as the land could be placed back on the market if PP was not be obtained.

Roy.
 

Chems

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So you'd find your land, and go into a conditional sale based on planning approval? The gamble is to buy the land with out PP, try for PP. If you dont get the PP resell the land (hopefully).
 

cambournepete

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There are many thousands of plots of land available without planning permission that would almost certainly get it - e.g. an infill site. Websites such as plot finder list them.

Often people would buy a site wth PP and then try to amend that PP or even submit a new application to their design. If PP has already been granted there has to be a very good reason to refuse. I've also seen episodes where the existing house is demolished. Again PP is very likely to be granted as there was already a building of similar purpose there.
 

Chems

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Just on the few replies, it sounds easier than I would have though to gain permission. The one about demolishing an existing house I've heard, is it true that as long as it remains in the same footprint you can build without extensive change of PP?
 

Digit

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So you'd find your land, and go into a conditional sale based on planning approval? The gamble is to buy the land with out PP, try for PP. If you dont get the PP resell the land (hopefully).
Yes, but do my research before hand, some land will never receive PP, others will.
The plot next to me was purchased without PP, but the buyer had made a study of future development planning and approached the owner, having noticed that it was not in use.
Agricultural land in your area is about £7000/acre, building land is running at slightly less than 100 times that!

Roy.
 

Chems

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Would it be fair to say a piece of land on the end of a already present village/town/hamlet would be more likely to get PP than a piece of farmland in the middle of nowhere?
 

Digit

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That would depend on future development plans. Currently in many areas PP would only be granted within the village envelope. Much land that may come onto the market is already under option to the big boys, but they are not interested in small plots.
One clue would be if some plot near you has been sold in the last couple of years, many owners in rural communities may have a paddock/orchard etc that has potential for PP. The council don't knock on your door and tell you.
If you are wishing to stay local it eases the leg work, the local planning authority will have zones that they are prepared to consider PP for. The fact that one part of village is a yes does not mean the whole will be a yes. Access is a vital consideration, for example, a direct drive exit onto a fast dual carriageway may make it a no, proximity to an airfield can do the same.
PP might be provisional, but then you might find that restrictions apply that are costly, for example some councils are now only permitting new structures on flood plains if 'flood proofed.'

Roy.
 

Chems

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Thanks for that Roy, its quite a big complicated subject and gaining PP could be the wet fuse to a self build dream.
 

cambournepete

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Talk to the local planning authority about the local development framework (they might have a slightly different term).
The edge of one village might be fine, the next not.
If you plan on significantly changing the style of an existing property then planning permission would be needed.
It's always best to consult the local planning authority - initial advice is likely to be free and if you do need permission it only costs about £150. Much less than knocking down the house of your dreams because permission was refused.

Don't forget that as long as you want to build somewhere within the LDF then the presumption is to grant permission unless there is one or more good reasons not to do so.
 

Digit

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I'll run you through an example Chems.
My house, stands on a fast single carriage way with a lay-by out front. Sold with DPP, mains water/electricity/septic drainage. When we purchased it had stood empty for nearly 5 yrs, the reason?
Site clearance etc. The house contained Asbestos cement, HORROR! A new septic tank would have required dynamite.
Builders looked elsewhere.
Next door! Which cost more and was a smaller plot and no services, but it was a green field site.
Immediately beyond the lay-by is a couple of acres, the owner wanted to build a bungalow there, no! Reason? No lay-by to build up speed.
She gave up, me, I would have looked into having the lay-bye extended. Very pricey, but as the land would have been 'free,' worth considering perhaps.

Roy.
 

Yetty

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Chems. If buying land without planning permission, check if there is an Uplift Clause or Ransom Strip. An Uplift Clause is set by the seller to ensure the seller benefits financially, payment from the buyer, should the land increase in value due to it receiving planning permission, even long after the sale is completed. Ransom Strip, means seller retains ownership/control of critical narrow strip of land along the boundary(s).
 

Digit

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Pity someone didn't tell that to our local authority. Bought the land for a new hospital and failed to ensure access!
Vauxhall Motors made the same mistake for their truck factory.

Roy.
 

Harbo

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Fair bit of Infilling where I live where Developers buy up parts of people's gardens and build.
Even the tiniest plots go for over £100k!

Rod
 

andyw

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have a look in the back of the home building mags - they list plots available by county, though if you subscribe to the plot services, you get them earlier. All sorts available from speculative plots with no planning, Outline planning etc. You need to get to know an area, the local planning policy, plus the house prices. We went down the route of knocking down an old bungalow and rebuilding a 2 storey modern house and could do this because all the houses in the street where different so the planners couldn't really object on style, only really size, and the numbers added up on value.
 

Chems

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Yeah I've seen that and a few, if your looking for land without planning permission its easy to find! I was after some personal insight into the PP process, the sort of learning only UKW can provide.
 

Harbo

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PP is determined by the local councils.
It took one of my daughters two years of frustration and expense to get PP on some land she was selling.
It was only after her Planning Case Officer was removed and replaced did she finally get permission.
She even had to resort to employing a firm specialising in PP because of the local councils intractability - they were quoting outdated 1972 Planning Regs for refusal!
Her local council, as well as Planning Fees, also demand money up front towards infrastructure costs which added another £10k!

Rod
 

andyw

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generally there are no bargains....if it's cheap land, planning will be difficult and expensive to get. All depends on how much effort you want to put into finding the plot and getting planning. As ever the simpler route will cost more and be quicker up front, but may not cost more in the long run as others have taken the risk and hassle of getting PP which should not be underestimated - ours was a simple case for the house but it took us two years and a custom garage to get through due to a few bat droppings. Can you afford to buy the land/property and then sit on it for a couple of years whilst planning is sorted. This wasn't too bad for us as we were living in the property so could take our time; plus it meant we could also take our time on working out what we wanted to build and refine that around the features of the plot eg trees, sun, views.
So for us a positive route was to find a house to demolish / extensive refurbish that could be lived in for a few years (5!) comfortably whilst we worked out our plans.
 

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