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Final Checks for Building Plots

Important Legal Checks

We always recommend appointing a solicitor to act on your behalf if you decide to purchase building land. They will check legal restrictions and ensure correct title of the builiding land, that the land has legal right of access to the public road, especially where this crosses a verge (often owned by the highways agency) or private road, covenants, rights of way across your site, and easements and wayleaves rights for services to cross the land. They will also confirm the boundaries of the building plot.

If you are self-building, it is worth while trying to locate an independant solicitor with experience in this arena. If you are looking at building overseas, consult a solicitor with experience in your chosen country who can speak English and the local language!

The Cost of the Land

We would recommend spending time researching both the local and national market for a guide price for the building land. The two main factors contributing to the value of a building plot are location and whether the plot of land has planning permission.

If the plot of land is advertised as having planning permission, ensure that it is still valid and has not lapsed. Get written confirmation if work is said to have been started to keep the planning permission current. Your solicitor will take care of all of this for you, but it's worth making a note to ensure every step is taken to protect your investement. There is no guarantee that planning will be re-approved, and the premium price paid will have been lost as planning permission will have to be re-applied for.

Outline Planning Permission (OPP) still allows some flexibility to what can be submitted for Approval of Reserved Matters. Equally there is no guarantee that your proposed final designs will be approved.

Detailed Planning Permission is often more expensive. If the designs are exactly what you plan to build then you have saved time negotiating such permission. You can also reapply for detailed planning on different designs, should you wish, without affecting the permissions already gained.

Council Documents

The council holds on file, letters, comments as well as other documentation relating to the land. From this information you will see the factors that were for and against the development of the land and design your house plans accordingly. This can be extremely useful if you are interested in applying for altered planning permission on a plot of land with planning permission granted.

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