I’ve spent a lot of time in our local county trying to find a self-build plot. I finally found a plot I considered might work – it has the following:
– It is within a current residential area
– The site has old buildings/farm barns which have now become deralict, and are in a “dangerous” state of disrepair
– Road access right past the site at the location the house would go
– Located in an area which has idnetified need for more housing, but the council plan only identifes major “developer” sites in their masterplanning.

So it seems perfect, after all i’ve read about plots – this ticks a lot of boxes… It took me a while to find the ownership (this is a plot in Scotland, so I needed to get Land Registry Scotland to identify the site ownership for me). At this point, I did some further digging on the council planning website, and discover that the site has in fact been put up for planning permission before – for a similar house and project to the one I consider (4 bed house, standard style etc nothing unusual)

The planning application was available (from 4 years ago), and it was very poor – handwritten (in a hurry it seems), lacked any real information or care and was very loose on details (not even sketches, drawings or detail). The planning application was rejected, on the basis that it was “not specifically a residential area” and that there was another project (5 old farm buildings) nearby which were still under conversion. THis conversion is still half complete – by an owner who is trying to make big bucks selling conversions for 3x the market rate, hence, they are all unfinished…

The applicant appealed – again, a very poor appeal with no real research etc and poorly presented. This was also rejected on the same grounds.

So my question is – Is there likely to be value in attempting a very carefully worded/written proposal (probably by a professional company) to try and achieve planning – or does a “No” in this case mean “No” to anything, no matter how it is presented? Also do councils a) review the application as new if I submit it and b) have policies which might have changed to allow this through this time?

Any thoughts welcome – happy to send the link to the planning application if anyone wants to read it in more detail…


  • Jeremy Murfitt


    Lots can happen in 4 years. I would firstly review their web site and understand what are the current policies, they could have course changed since the last application. The planning history is certainly important as the reasons for refusal could be the same i.e. the same policies are in place. A poorly presented and argued application certain wouldn’t have helped. Having done your initial research it would be worth getting a local planning consultant to provide you with their initial thoughts and the like hood of success. It will incur a fee but in the long run it would be money well spent. Next if all looking positive go and meet the planners to discuss the project. Each application is considered on it’s merits.

    Good luck.

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