lhsbanner s106guide orange

lhsbanner ets2015 blue

lhsbanner fmb2

News

Two Bristol schemes promise more self/custom build homes

'Self finish' homes emerge on former school site with serviced plots planned elsewhere

Read more

Enough brownfield land to build around ¼ million homes by 2019, says RICS

Findings could signal new opportunities for even more people to build their own homes in England

Read more

Veterans begin building their own homes in Plymouth

Work due to start on project which provides ex-service personnel with skills and training to build 12 homes for themselves

Read more

Devon self builders construct homes for each other

Local families begin work on six straw bale eco-homes after a three-year wait

Read more

'Good practice' document published to help local authorities support private homebuilders

National Custom and Self Build Association reveals early findings from programme of work to help more people build their own homes

Read more

Case Studies

Aldcliffe Yard, Lancaster

Read more

Walthamstow Social Rent Scheme

Read more

Prefabricated Passivhaus bungalow

Read more

Cookham Dean, Berkshire

Read more

Harvest House

Read more

Bickleigh Eco Village, Devon

Read more

Stoke-on-Trent Serviced Building Plots

Read more

Forevergreen House

Read more

Housing People Building Communities

Read more

Sülzer Freunde, Cologne

Read more

Berlin - 'Building Groups'

Read more

Manor Farm, Kirton

Read more

Straw-baling, Perthshire

Read more

Low-cost Irish House

Read more

Community Eco-homes, Devon

Read more

Lancaster Co-Housing

Read more

Cropthorne

Read more

Findhorn

Read more

St Just In Roseland

Read more

Hempsted Green

Read more

Vauban, Germany

Read more

Warborough

Read more

Almere, Holland

Read more

Ashley Vale

Read more

West Quantoxhead

Read more

Castle Ring Wood

Read more

The Camberwell Curve

Read more

Trefeglwys

Read more

Wellstride

Read more

Hockerton

Read more

Wokingham

Read more

Top tips

Challenging sites

Challenging sites Read more

we support_logo-2tb

Finding land

Finding a plot

This can be very easy if you or your family already own a suitable piece of land, or it may take years of effort if you have geographical or budgetary constraints.

Where should I start?

There's no exact starting point. However, the Self Build Portal's 'Need-a-Plot' tool is a good place to begin. By placing your noticeboard on the interactive 'Need-a-Plot' map, detailing what kind of plot you are looking for, this will enable thousands of people to see what kind of plot you need and where you need it.

You could also search our Suppliers Directory which lists several plot-finding services.

Some other methods for plot hunting include networking (ask all your friends on Facebook to look out for one for you, for example); contacting estate agents and landowners, checking out auction houses, hiring agents to search for you, advertising in the local press, in pubs and shops, and with mobile workers such as taxi drivers, mobile gardeners and hairdressers.

What else could I do?

There are a number specialist 'plot finding' websites that you could investigate. Collectively, they list thousands of self build plots in the UK and offer a powerful way of searching and contacting listed vendors. They are:

Additionally, there are other online sources that sometimes list self build plots, including PrimeLocation, Rightmove and Zoopla.

You can also search an area for an untended garden or neglected building etc and then approach the owners. If you have a defined search area buy yourself a high resolution Ordnance Survey map as this can sometimes help you identify quirky potential infill sites that are not visible from the main roads. Google Earth can sometimes be useful for this too.

Other site finding techniques include:

  • Offering a finder‘s fee to planning agents and architects.
  • Checking at the local planning office for permissions granted but not started.
  • Joining (or setting up) a local self build club or group where members share leads and help each other to hunt.

For a group build, you can also approach a parish council and ask them to suggest a suitable site. If your plans include affordable homes for local people in housing need, they should support your efforts. Or look through the lists of public land that the various Government departments are selling off.

The GLA also has a database of land for sale.

If you'd like to join a local self build group, HousePlanner has a list.

Finally, you could consider finding land via an auction.

A word of warning...

Don’t get conned into buying land by a property scam company. These organisations often advertise plots of land that will never realistically get planning permission (for example, in areas that are protected by the Green Belt etc). If someone is selling a wonderful plot of land at an unbelievable price there’s got to be something wrong. And if you buy a site like this – usually still costing tens of thousands of pounds – you’re very unlikely to ever recover your money. Be warned.

PropertySCAM lists many of the ongoing land scams where people are being conned.

Related Links: