Inspiration and advice for your building project
In order to become a building plot a site needs access — in most areas that means vehicular access.
In some urban or city areas, it might be acceptable or even desirable to have pedestrian access only, but more often than not, the requirement for vehicular access is a pre-condition for the granting of planning permission, with that consent containing further stipulations that have to be fulfilled before the permission is operable.
As a self-builder, you must take particular care to ensure that these conditions are capable of being satisfied within your remit.
If they require the action or approval of third parties, then it is important to make sure that there are contracts in place and that any payments necessary are taken into account when agreeing the purchase price.
Most people think that access directly onto a public highway is preferable, but there are a few considerations:
Many plots have access onto private roads that have access to the adopted highway:
Backland plots may have to share a driveway with the house in front. Infill plots may also be required to share the existing driveway with the original house. But bear in mind:
If a property has enjoyed an unrestricted right of way over land in the ownership of others, then a right of way can be established by long usage. This right is granted by application to the Land Registry. However, it must have been continuous for a period of 20 years or more (although a break of one year is allowed for) and must have been obtained without force, without secrecy and without explicit consent. The right can only attach to a Freeholder and must not be illegal. It is not possible to establish such a right over land owned by British Waterways, Railways land or Crown land.
Did you know?
You are likely to need to hire an approved contractor to carry out works to the highway — always check with your local authority