Plots of land with planning permission

This article investigates the current demand for land for sale with planning permission before assessing the types of buyers for building plots, and the categories of planning consent.

It then considers the options for people keen to build their own home and gives some examples of plots for sale on the market.

A surveyor inspecting a parcel of land.

Pent-up demand

This is being driven by many factors, including a desire to build a bespoke house and dissatisfaction with the style of new-build homes on the market. The demand is exacerbated by the slow rate of residential development and the shortage of new houses to buy. The price of plots which have been granted planning permission, of course, varies hugely according to location.

The Government is encouraging people to build their own homes through its Help to Build scheme, a bid to deliver more houses in the UK. It has established a £150m fund to assist people wanting to self-build or custom-build with the help of lower deposit mortgages; the scheme provides an equity loan on the completed home. 

Who buys building plots?

The prospect of a plot of land with full planning permission granted is attractive to self-builders who want to create a home to their own specification, as well as to traditional building companies. Self-builders seek plots for various reasons, such as meeting complex family requirements or to accommodate office space. A building plot may offer flexibility and options not available from the usual range of new build properties available. Desire for space may also be a factor; a large plot may offer more scope for an ancillary business as well as a house.

Types of planning permission

When considering a plot which has gone through the planning application process and been granted planning permission, it is important to examine the exact type of consent. Outline planning permission is granted when the local authority has agreed in principle that a house may be built.

Outline consent is always conditional; once granted, the applicant must ask for approval of the details, meaning that an Approval of Reserved Matters application (or detailed planning permission) is required within three years of the outline approval before work can start. This will typically include details of the layout, access, scale, house style, materials to be used and appearance of the scheme.

Up until 2005, most consents were granted for five years; it is important to check dates. Newer outline consents are granted lasting for three years with the requirement that work must start on site within two years of the granting of approved Reserved Matters. There may be other conditions to fulfil before full planning permission is given. Full planning permission approves all the details of a proposed development meaning that the scheme can proceed as planned.

Preparation of a building plot.

Housebuilding options

For those who require an individually designed house but do not want to undertake the project themselves, there are housebuilders who offer plots for sale with full planning permission granted. For instance, Potton homebuilders have a site at Tadpole Garden Village, Swindon which includes 14 plots for sale on which buyers can custom-build a bespoke Potton home to their specification. The site has an arts and crafts design scheme and includes green space and a nature park. 

The current market

If you are searching for a plot, monitor relevant estates agents’ websites and land specialists such as Addland for new listings. Some examples of plots for sale with planning permission in December 2021 illustrate the diversity and price variation around the country:

A plot for sale in Ashley, near Hale village in Cheshire, has detailed full planning permission to build a dream home of around 5,800 square feet. Situated close to Tatton Part, this architect-designed family home has four bedrooms and .the guide price is £900,000.

Estate agents are selling two residential building plots, which could be sold separately, are on the market in Church Street, Shawbury, Shropshire, for offers in excess of £190,000. The site has planning permission for two four bedroom homes.

In Farndon, Cheshire, a plot with planning permission for a 2,638 square foot luxury detached four bedroom house set in around 0.54 of an acre is priced at £495,000 (region).

A single plot with sea views in Boscastle, Cornwall has a guide price of £275,000. A plot with planning permission for a detached four bedroom house in Burbage, Marlborough, Wiltshire is priced at £150,000-£200,000 while a plot overlooking Carmarthen town centre and the Lower Towy Valley is for sale at £64,500. The plot measures 45 feet x 75 feet.

Thinking of seeking planning permission on your land?

Arbtech are your best asset when it comes to obtaining planning permission for your project. Covering the entire UK, the team will be pleased to help you with the surveys required, from environmental reports to protected species surveys. Visit to find out more.

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