What Should You Consider If The Plot You Are Buying Comes With Planning Permission?
Is Consent About To Expire?
Many older outline consents were granted for a period of five years, with the condition that the application for detailed (Approval of Reserved Matters) should be made within three years of the outline consent being granted. If therefore, you are buying a plot of land with such a consent four years after it was originally granted, and no detailed planning application has been submitted or approved, then technically, the outline consent has expired. In this case, if you still wish to purchase the plot, you should add a condition to the contract of sale making it subject to receipt of satisfactory planning permission.
Check Dates Carefully
Newer outline planning consents will only last for three years, with the requirement that the detailed application must be made within that period, and that work must commence on site within two years of the detailed planning permission being granted. This is vital, because
it does mean that the application for detailed consent runs past the original three year period and it fails, then the outline consent will also be expired and will no longer be valid. Once again, the rule is to check all dates carefully, and if necessary, only agree to buy subject to receipt of satisfactory planning permission.
Submit An Application Before You Buy?
You should never buy a plot without first knowing if planning permission can be obtained. However, if you have spotted an opportunity that does not yet have planning permission, don't let that put you off. You do not have to own the land in order to apply for planning permission, and you do not even need the owner's permission, although you will have to give them sufficient notice that you intend to submit a planning application. It would be a waste of time applying for planning permission for someone else's land, however, which is why beforehand, you should have a formal agreement with the current land owner to sell it to you if the application is approved. Remember, the planning permission is approved on the land, not with the individual who applied for it, so at very least, you should enter into a legal agreement with the owner before you make your application. This can be a very simple document which binds them to sell to you, and you to buy from them, if the planning application is successful.
Check The Conditions
A planning consent will often contain various other conditions requiring that something is done, or that certain criteria are fulfilled before the consent is operated, or before the resulting home is occupied. It is imperative that you make absolutely certain that you, and any other parties involved, are capable of satisfying these conditions before you buy. You also must be certain that if the conditions do involve third parties, the necessary legal agreements and framework is in place so that the conditions can be satisfied.
Get The Experts In
Finally, you should consider getting some professionals in to fight your corner. Speer Dade advises that at very least, you'll need a set of drawings; therefore it's worth using a good firm of architects or building surveyors. Professionals can submit your planning application but the specialists in planning, rather than just design, are planning consultants who can also give an opinion on potential and the prospects for success before you embark on an application. The complexity of planning is such that few laymen can now successfully make an application unaided.