There are plenty of reasons people want to acquire their own land, from businesses building a new distribution base to a family building their own dream home. While the idea of land acquisition may seem simple, it’s always best keep in contact with your Solicitor so they can offer expert advice throughout the process.
Identify Your Requirements
Before you start searching for your very own plot of land, you need to decide on a project plan. It’s all well and good purchasing a plot in your perfect location to develop but if you can’t build there, you’ll be left with a lovely looking plot of land.
When deciding on a plot of land, you should consider:
- Purpose – What do you want the land for? Are you building your own house? Once this has been identified, you need to check if the land can be used for your intended purpose.
- Cost – How much will the land cost? By making rough estimates you can then start to estimate the extra costs on top of this.
- Re-Sale – Whether you’re planning on moving in to a house you build yourself, or you intend to sell it as soon as your development is complete, you need to look into the re-sale value of the land.
Set Your Budget
Once you’ve identified your requirements, it’s time to plan a budget. The budget shouldn’t just cover the cost of land because you need the factor in the cost of the entire project from surveyor fees to materials.
Find the Right Plot
The next step is to find the perfect plot for your plans. While it used to be as easy as finding a preferred spot and claiming it with your flag, that’s no longer the case.
Brown and green are the two most common classifications for land that can be developed. With the current housing shortage, the government is looking to build less on Greenfield and more on Brownfield land. The classifications are as follows:
- Brownfield land - Land previously used for industrial or commercial purposes.
- Greenfield land – Undeveloped land which could have been used for agriculture, landscape design or left to grow naturally.
If the plots available for sale don’t interest you, there are other ways to obtain plots of land that may already be owned but unused:
- Auctions – There are entire auctions dedicated to the sale of land. However any land bought here is sold on an ‘as seen’ basis and there is little time to research the plot due to the fast paced nature of auctions.
- Local authorities – If a local authority needs to raise money then they may be willing to part with some of the land they own.
- Utility companies – Utility companies provide Britain with gas, water and electricity, they also have a surplus of land that they might part with if the right offer is made.
Check for Planning Permission
When land is sold, it falls within one of three categories:
- No planning permission
- Outline planning permission
- Planning permission has been granted for a set of plans which have been reviewed and approved.
It’s highly advisable that you ask your solicitor to investigate the land and find out which category your plot falls under. Through research, your solicitor will be able to uncover any restrictive laws that would prevent you from developing the land.
Survey the Land
You’ve identified the pocket of land you want and your instincts are telling you to snap it up before you lose the opportunity. You need wait because you only know the basics about this plot and the land could be structurally unsound.
It’s important to have an area surveyed before you commit to a purchase and to get a real insight into the land, you should have a qualified land surveyor carry it out. A professional will give you a detailed report on the land which will tell you if it’s suitable for development or not.
Once you’ve found a plot of land that suits your needs and you’ve ensured that you can use it for your development, then it’s the right time to consult with your Solicitor to start the legal proceedings that accompany the acquisition of land.