Demand is high for all types of plots of land in the UK with planning consent. This is 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 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 in 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 building plot with planning consent 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 Consent
When considering a plot which has 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 consent is given
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 planning consent 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
Some examples of plots for sale with planning consent in August 2021 illustrate the diversity and price variation around the country:
A freehold building plot with outline planning permission in a residential area of Carmarthen is for sale at £55,000, while in Llandrindod Wells, Powys, there is an asking price of £165,000 for a plot of land with planning permission for four detached dwellings overlooking farmland on the edge of the village.
An individual plot in Tregoney, Cornwall, with outline consent for a detached house and garage on the edge of the village is priced at £150,000. At the higher end of the scale, a plot with consent for a 2852 sq ft detached home in central Reigate, Surrey, is available for offers in excess of £850,000.