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Our top 5 tips to help smooth the plot finding and planning process

Throughout the planning process, there are several factors to be aware of and to consider. Here are our top 5 tips to help guide you through those early stages.

Know your boundaries

In most cases, new development can only take place within settlement boundaries of existing towns and villages. If you are looking to build outside these boundaries (usually a designated Greenfield area) it will need to be either a replacement dwelling or have an occupational or agricultural tie.

Even within a settlement boundary, the vast majority of people are opting to purchase plots with a view to replacing existing buildings or building on infill sites created from sub-divided gardens. Be mindful that settlement plans do change, so it’s always worth checking with your local authority to find out what the current situation is.

Don’t be afraid to pester estate agents!

Estate agents usually prefer to deal with developers rather than individuals, so to stay ahead of the game, you will need to keep regular contact with them. While this can be frustrating, determination and perseverance are two common factors in successfully acquiring plots – remember, between 18,000 and 25,000 single self-builds take place every year, so the plots are there! 

Use available planning sources

National Land Databases can be accessed for a fee and provide you with a list of plots. The general school of thought is that most good plots don’t reach the open market, however we know of many individuals who have found ideal plots through these agencies.

Also speak to your local council about the Self Build Register. All local authorities in England are required to research demand for self-build plots in their area, and the Self-Build and Custom Housebuilding Act means that they must keep a list of people and groups interested in building their own homes.

Useful sources include the National Land Database, Self-Build Register and Custom Housing Act websites.

Don’t take unnecessary risks with planning permission

NEVER buy a plot without at least obtaining Outline Planning Permission (OPP) or at least conditional on OPP being granted.  OPP is an application to the planning authority on whether or not a proposal is likely to be approved or not. This planning application allows for fewer planning details to be submitted, and therefore less costs are incurred.

Get expert design advice

The design of your property is the most critical stage of your self-build project. Every new home must comply with planning requirements, sit well within its plot, and most importantly, conform to your individual lifestyle needs.

If you are considering starting a self-build project that will require support in obtaining planning permission, then give us a call and tell us about your project – we have a dedicated team of experienced and creative designers who can take your brief through to achieving detailed planning permission.

We would love to find out more about your project and help remove any barriers to achieving your dream home.  To contact us call 01432 353 353 or message us by clicking here