I’m considering purchasing 2 acres of grazing land and wondered what the chances are of getting planning permission on a site like this.

The 2 acres is currently being used for grazing horses. It has road access (frontage on a lane) but no water or electric. This particular plot is in the middle of a lane with houses built on the same side of the road on both sides of the plot. We would only want to build one 5 bed house on the plot for ourselves.

I’ve spoken to the council but they can’t advise on the potential for planning permission unless I pay a £110 fee for advice.

Any ideas if this plot would stand a chance of getting planning permission in the future? The plan would be to leave it as rented grazing land for a few years while we sort out plans and money.


  • Jeremy Murfitt


    The question unfortunately is bit like "how long is a piece of string?". To answer in detail more information would be required. I do like your comment that we "only want to build one 5 bed house". Relative to the cost of acquiring the land and associated legal costs I would have thought that £110 is a good and essential investment. Lucky you aren’t in certain parts of the East Midlands where pre application advice can cost £1600.

    Before buying one thing to double check if there are any uplift provisions in the sale. By this I mean if you get planning permission you may be liable to pay the former owner a % of the increase in value of the site. Also check if there any covenants restricting development. Your solicitor will advise on these points.

    On the planning front the first thing to do is to review the planning history. Quite often this can be done on line. Finding out if any applications have been approved or refused is key. Unlikely that an application has been approved as you have to assume the seller would be looking for the appropriate price. If refused check out the reasons for refusal.

    Next you want to take a look at the Authority’s planning policy. There may be an old style Local Plan in place or the new format, a Local Development Framework. If the plot is close to a town/village there may be policies covering future development. Also look for anything about windfall sites.

    If you don’t have any experience in planning I would engage a planning consultant at this early stage. Suitable plots are very hard to come by and from reading this magazine there are plenty of people who have been frustrated by the planning process. Whilst you are incurring some expenditure pre acquisition I would suggest it is part and parcel of your due diligence. As one of my former gooses used to say "time on research is rarely wasted".

    Good luck


  • Post a comment
    You must be logged in to comment. Log in