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Finding a plot

Search for the perfect plot to bring your dream home to life.

Kirkwood Timber Frame plot

Searching for the ideal plot

Once you’ve set the budget for your self build project, the search to find your plot can begin.

From choosing the location to securing planning permission, navigating the plot search landscape can seem like a daunting task but it doesn’t need to be. Read our top tips below for guidance on how to get started.

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Location, location, location

As you begin searching for your ideal plot for your dream new home, it’s important to consider the location. We recommend selecting key areas to narrow down your search - this could include driving or walking around potential towns or villages to identify top locations or even speaking to locals in the area to hear their views.

Similar to property prices fluctuating in different locations, plot prices vary too due to the desirability of their location. The price of a plot will also increase if there is planning permission in place or if services have been directed to the plot. These are things to consider during your plot search.

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Let the location determine the design for your new home

While it may be tempting to decide on your new home’s design and create a wishlist of key features, it is important to find your plot and decide on the position of your new home first. Rushing ahead to the design stage may mean that you are missing out on key opportunities, such as maximising a beautiful view, having natural light and sunshine flood into your favourite rooms or positioning the bedrooms furthest away from the sound of traffic.

Beginning your plot search

There are plenty of companies and websites which allow you to browse plots of land for sale, with location and price details included in their listings so you can find a plot to fit your budget.

Alternative methods of finding a plot for sale include:

  • Browsing the Buildings at Risk Register for derelict properties which could potentially be demolished, providing you with a site to build on
  • Conversing with local private developers who may consider selling you an undeveloped plot of land
  • Researching local community trusts which may have land available for sale

It’s important to note that plot prices vary due to the desirability of their location, with the price increasing if planning permission is already in place or if services have been directed to the plot.

Permission documents

Gaining planning permission

After finding your ideal plot, check to see if it already has planning permission before you buy it. If it does, then you might not be able to stray too far from the design which has already been approved. If the plot doesn’t have planning permission, or planning permission in principle, then it may be more affordable to buy and you will need to submit a new planning application. This approach is far more flexible, as you have the option to ask the landowner to agree on an offer which is subject to you gaining planning permission.

To submit your planning application, you will need architectural drawings that detail the layout and elevation of your house, the plot of your house on a location plan to show where your new home, access roads and parking bays will be situated. Once complete, these drawings along with a planning application are submitted to the local planning authority. Use to calculate the cost of a planning application.

Approval document

To increase your chances of getting planning approval the first time you submit an application, try talking to the planners first or employ a planning consultant. Most consultants have previously worked for a local planning authority so will know the process well and can help with any obstacles you may come across. If you do choose to use a planning consultant, get them involved as early as possible to advise on design and material selection.

The local authority will write to you with their decision on whether or not your application is approved, which should be made within two months of receiving all the information required. This will include answers to their comments and, if your application is unsuccessful, you can appeal or resubmit a new application with a different design.

Try our self build cost calculator

Use our helpful tool to calculate the cost of your timber frame home.

Other helpful links...

How to set a budget for your self-build project


How to set a budget for your self-build project

8 steps to self-building your dream home


8 steps to self-building your dream home

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