I’ve identified a really good plot of land and after knocking on the owners door and discussing it with them and finding they had aspirations to sell it for a number of years, but hadn’t acted upon it, have agreed a great price.

However I have a few issues and am not new to construction, but am to both home ownership and self build, so am hoping to get advice regarding legal aspects of purchasing the plot from here.

I have a slight catch 22 situation. I can’t buy plot as i need finance’s (although I have 3rd party with some of the land costs) and can’t get finances without planning………However I have time.

So what I hope to do is:

1. Submit detailed design along with substantial design and access statement report for pre planning – this is done 1 week ago and should here back in next 3.

2. This is bit I need guidance on ………. I’d like to get a legal agreement in place with the owner to state that I have first refusal on the land for a given period (say 6 months), at a given price (as already agreed), whether planning is gained or not. After that six month they would have the right to sell elsewhere……but before they must sell if i come up with the payment and can complete.

3. Assuming planning was approved (i think it will be, maybe with a few design amendments. There are plenty of precedents locally to make this assumption) I will then mobilise finance to purchase the land, allowing completion.

4. Final stage would be crack on with build…..hopefully.

I’m assuming some of the above is either naive or incorrect and hope you can guide me on a better path to allow this project to be realised.

Thanks in advance and please let me know if more info is needed.

  • David Emmerson

    PLease can anyone help??

  • Lindsey Davis

    Hi David,

    The crux of your plan is sorting that contract with the owners. In principle, you can draw a contract for anything you like if both parties agree. I suggest you contact a solicitor to discuss this.

    You can apply for planning permission for land whether you own it or not. This is at a cost of course, but could be one option prior to you having to fork out to buy it.

    Either way, I would suggest finding a solicitor and also talking to some self build mortgage lenders to see what can be sorted.


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