How to buy development land?

Finding Building Plots

Finding building plotsThe land search facility within the Land Hub should be an important first step in your search for suitable building land. You should sign-up for search alerts and also get in touch with your our land team to see if they can offer off-market opportunities that are not available online.

Our online search utilities allow you to explore land opportunities by drilling into a UK map or by entering a location. By specifying your price bracket you can focus on properties that are most likely to meet your requirements. In a single click you can then see what the land looks like, the price, location and top level details. You can then click to view further details if you wish.

You should find a number of land sites within your budget to carefully evaluate and assess them for suitability.

Click here to find building plots near you

Assessing plots

Assessing building plotsHaving sourced a number of plots you will then need to thoroughly research each site, as well as the surrounding areas. To ensure that the investment matches your needs you will need to evaluate against a number of criteria. This process helps to ensure that your project is delivered to budget and on time.

Some of the factors to consider about the local area might include:

  • Transport links
  • Average price of new builds in that area
  • Local schools and other amenities
  • Major planning applications relating to the immediate area
  • Crime levels
  • Major Council plans and polices relating to the immediate area

All Councils publish a Local Development Plan which details local planning policy. You should fully understand which parts of the plan relate to the site.

Local plan researchWhen evaluating each plot of land you may wish to evaluate against criteria such as:

  • Level of planning permission (Outline or Detailed Planning Permission) and the number of them
  • Any conditions attached to planning permissions
  • Planning history
  • Level of physical access
  • Cost of access to essential services
  • Broadband speed / mobile signal strength
  • Flood risks
  • Land contamination issues
  • Tree preservation orders
  • Ground conditions including excavations such as mines in the vicinity

Outline Planning Permission means that the planned property development has been agreed in principle only. Land offered with full planning permission means that you will have consent to build whatever development is stated in the plans. Either way you would have the option to submit further applications for consideration should you wish.

It is possible to buy land subject to planning permission. This is a formal legal agreement that is binding only if planning permission is granted. You may also be offered an Option Agreement, which gives you the option to complete should planning permission be granted.

Whilst much of research above can be conducted by our land team, it may be necessary to employ specialists for example to investigate ground conditions. You may wish to physically visit the site and area to get a better sense of the proposition.

Getting organised

Finding land - getting organisedThe process of researching and evaluating potential property development sites will generate a significant amount of data for you to collate. Possibly the best way manage this is by using a spreadsheet. This approach allows you to evaluate and order the available options quickly and easily.

You could use colour coding or a points system to highlight the properties that best match your requirements. You should also include links to the property details online and allow space for your notes.

Our land experts can help you to define the right evaluation criteria to include and can provide the information you need to make an informed decision.

Brownfield land

Brownfield development sites“Brownfield” simply refers to land that has previously been used for purposes other than housing. This may include sites formerly used for commercial, industrial or agricultural purposes.

Whilst this type of site may sometimes require the demolition of existing structures, this may be offset by advantages such as the pre-existence of essential services.

Care should be taken to ensure that the site has appropriate planning permissions given the change of intended use.


How our land experts can help?

Our land team can provide you with the guidance and assistance you will require to make an informed decision.

Get in touch with our land team to learn more