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News

Task Force promotes community-led housing with awards of free advice

Following a call for applications earlier in the year, the Right to Build Task Force has awarded five organisations free help in the form of tailored expert advice.

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Get inspired by Netherland's Custom and Self-build homes

The Netherlands has been leading the way in innovation for Custom and Self-build homes, so get inspired by some of the various routes it uses to give people a tailor-made home.&....

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RUSS training day: From proposal to Planning

RUSS is running a one-day workshop for community-led groups, the second module in its education programme. 

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Could your grand design be built in a flying factory?

A flying factory is way of building a Self- or Custom Build home with all the benefits offered by building in a precision-factory environment, but on site.

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Community groups should take up learnings from free Right to Build Expos

The Right to Build Task Force has announced four more Expos fo....

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Case Studies

Bath Street Collective Custom Build

Bath Street Collective Custom Build

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Planning for retirement with Potton

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Bakers Shaw

Bakers Shaw mixed build-method Passivhaus

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Beattie Passive house

Manx passive home

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Contemporary Timber Frame Home

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Passivhaus Family Farmhouse

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Steel Farm

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Merlin Haven

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Timber Frame Home, Ventnor

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Aldcliffe Yard, Lancaster

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Walthamstow Social Rent Scheme

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Prefabricated Passivhaus bungalow

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Cookham Dean, Berkshire

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Harvest House

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Bickleigh Eco Village, Devon

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Stoke-on-Trent Serviced Building Plots

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Forevergreen House

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Housing People Building Communities

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Sülzer Freunde, Cologne

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Manor Farm, Kirton

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Straw-baling, Perthshire

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Findhorn

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Almere, Holland

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Hockerton

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Top tips

Red Tape

Red Tape Read more

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, RightmoveZoopla and the more commercial sites: Movehut and Commercial People.

Plus, there's The Land Bank Partnership; a useful site which specialises in the sale of land with a planning consent or the potential for residential development in the West/South West of England. 

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 list of public land for sale by the Homes and Communities Agency.

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.

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