Whatever type of land you might be considering to finance, direct access on to a road is essential – without it, your plot of land could be close to worthless.
In the case of land for warehousing or industrial use, the size of road and closeness to arterial roads and other transport links also have significant impact on the value of the plot. Sites for retail developments benefit from being in prominent positions on or near main highways.
Ideally, plots for residential developments should be in quiet locations, but not too isolated. Easy access to schools, shops, pubs, restaurants and other leisure facilities is desirable, as is availability of public transport, particularly in cities.
Closeness to existing mains water, sewerage, electricity, gas and telephone infrastructure is also beneficial. Your perfect rural plot might suddenly become less than perfect if you are landed with a £20,000 bill for connecting electricity and water supplies.
To make serious money from buying land, obtaining planning permission is essential. Applying for planning permission to develop a plot of land is normally a two-stage process:
Outline Planning Permission (OPP)
Outline planning permission (OPP) applications must address the following issues relating to the development of the site:
- Overall layout
- General appearance
- Upper and lower limits for the height, width and length of each proposed building
- Site access details
- Landscaping proposals
For residential property, OPP is an agreement in principle from a local council planning department that a dwelling (or dwellings) can be built on a plot of land. OPP is granted for a fixed term (usually 3 years). If OPP on a plot has lapsed, it can usually be renewed, subject to agreement from the local council, but this right is not guaranteed.
Full Planning Permission (FPP)
Full Planning Permission (also known as Detailed Planning Permission) applications must address all the outline planning issues in detail and include detailed scale drawings of the proposed buildings. Once FPP has been granted, it is usually valid for 5 years.
If your planning application is turned down by a local council, it has to give reasons for its decision. You have the right to appeal against a council’s decision but you should study their reasons for refusal carefully before submitting a revised application, which should try to address their concerns.
- The value of any plot of land depends almost totally on its location and ease of access
- Gaining planning permission is the best way to increase the value of a site
- Obtaining planning permission for developing land is normally a two-stage process