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Finding your building Plot

1. Find an appropriate plot of land, ideally with "Full Planning Permission" for a similar sized property to your requirements as that way you are more likely to get permission for your own designs on that plot. 

At the very least I would advise purchasing land with “Outline Planning Permission already granted.  This would mean that in principle you could develop the land however there is no guarantee that you will get full planning permission granted for the design or type of structure you wish to build.

I would avoid purchasing Greenfield land and even more so green belt land as it is far less likely to even get outline planning.  Brownfield land however could be a possibility, saving huge quantities of cash in the long run but this is risky as there is no guarantee that even outlines planning will be granted, especially for a home as it may require a change of use permission to be granted.  This may well be turned down if the planners feel it would either negatively affect the surrounding areas or be an inappropriate or unsafe location for your development plans, for example an old landfill site would be unlikely for permission to be developed due to contamination of soil as well as the possibility of land collapse and subsidence.

2. Assess plot – Sometimes a ground investigation report may be required in order to check suitability to build on.  Soil types as well as factors such as previous uses of the site need to be considered.  The soil type and previous uses could affect a potential buildings foundation requirements. 


In order for planing to be permitted, a soil analysis is sometimes required by the planners to determine which foundation method is best suited within the latest planing regulations.  This is normally done by a specialist soil analysis company and although not always necessary, it can save you thousands in the long run.  This service could cost anywhere up to around £2500 so should be budgeted for ideally.

If you are thinking about constructing a basement, read here for more information.

3. Check location of local services such as water, electricity and phone line; - the costs involved, how long it would take to get onto your site and the quality and type of connections and if they would be adequate for the proposed buildings use.  Water may be connectable to a bore hole if mains water is far away.  This can be very costly so should be weighed up against how much extra it would be to connect to a faraway mains source.

4. Trees, pond, pits etc. 

a. Make sure that any of your plans to remove existing obstructions such as trees and ponds are possible. There may be preservation orders restricting removal of such things

b. Consider how these will impact maneuvering the site, storage and health and safety of the site.  Consider a risk assessment.

5. Gaining Full planning permission - Once a suitable piece of land has been found and purchased, a design of the property should be drawn to scale and submitted to the local planning authority along with the relevant information.  This is usually carried out by an architect but it can be done by anyone as long as the local council planner’s requirements are met within the documents submitted in the application.  You will then have to wait for your plans to be checked over then published locally to see if there are any objections.  You will have to wait 8 weeks+ for a decision.  The permission lasts 3 yrs if granted before you will need to re-apply.

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