Evaluate a Potential Plot for a Self-Build Project

Introduction

Obviously you need to be aware that the plot is of sufficient size to meet the requirements of your build.

There are several excellent websites that enable both yourself and where necessary your Architect to quickly check that it is sufficient from an overall size perspective.

Let us briefly consider the principal checks that would be required in the evaluation of any potential building plot.

1. Planning Permission

Planning permission is critical to the whole self build process.

  • Initially avoid land without planning permission - too risky
  • Ensure that land has valid Outline Planning Permission and that this Outline Planning is not due to lapse
  • Where land has Detailed Planning Permission ensure that the detailed design accords with your own expectations.

Remember at all times that planning permission does not necessarily mean that the actual building may be possible. It could well be that restrictive covenants may limit what you can actually do with the land.
Learn More About Planning Permissions »

2. Access

Access is vital to any development - has it been clearly established that there is right of access. Consider whether visibility splays will be required.

3. Trees

A key consideration of the local planners throughout the planning process will have been the existing trees on site. Can these be removed? Are their Tree Preservation orders in force? Do these Tree Preservation orders potentially impact the build?

4. Ground Conditions

Consider the suitability of land for build - heavy clay or rock. Consider the Ground Water table. Have trial pits been dug? Is there a Site Investigation Report available.

5. Availability of Services

Are the key services readily available? In rural areas consider the possibly excessive cost involved in bringing these services to your building plot.

6. Legal

Consider engaging a specialist land lawyer. Among key considerations being rights of way, covenants and easements.

7. Neighbours Concerns

Take the opportunity to review the comments posted by neighbours during the planning application process. Have those concerns be satisfactorily allayed or does festering resentment still exist - can it be overcome.

8. Adjoining Buildings and Surroundings

Where you are considering land with Outline Planning Permission and have a fixed building design in mind for your build will it match in with adjoining buildings aesthetically.

Learn About the Planning Permissions you will Need »

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