Dixie

Possibilities of 12 acres and farmhouse

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Does anyone know how best to approach the Council to ask about planning?
I have inherited some, mostly agricultural land, about 12 acres, that has not been farmed since 2015.

There is a very small house in need of complete renovation and a derelict dairy which has planning permission for conversion to residential. 
I would like to find out if I could sell some to other people for self-build in order to provide some finance for building for myself and family to live – or sell when built.
My Grandson is a small builder and has access to other trades people that have worked for him on his previous, much smaller projects.
If building is a possibility I would also be willing to include something for the community but I don’t have very much in the way of financial backing.
I need to talk to planning officers and would like some advice about how to present any options I might have, in the best way.
I hope you can help. Thank you

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Posted (edited)

Welcome.

 

Where are you .. ish? Very different between eg the Cotswolds and the North East.

 

The first thing to do is keep quiet until you know what is in your mind, and then continue keeping quiet. If you talk about building things, normal people can turn into a swarm of wasps remarkably quickly, especially if significantly more than the people themselves need to live in.

 

For the bits beyond your existing PP, you are stepping into a bigger boys’ game, so take it carefully. This could be anything between a couple of plots and a 12 acre housing estate, and you need a lot of knowledge or professional advice. You will potentially be getting into things like bigger planning costs, tax planning, local plans, contract management, choosing when and what to sell, Plannign again, needing to employ a PM, a process of 3-5 years, and upfront paperwork costs of 10s of k.

 

Start by scoping your possibilities.

 

For this, my thought would be to go and find either an experienced Planning Consultant who has done similar things, or the most experienced person at your Local Estate agent, or perhaps the Charterd Surveyor who is in whatever organisation runs your local property auctions. You need to be in the position of a client with confidentiality, not somebody shooting the breeze with them. Shooting the breeze will get gossiped.

 

Commission them to give you a report of all the options, problems, opportunities, things that will not be achievable, and approx. costs and benefits. Include self-build and serviced plots in their terms of reference.

 

If you have a moderately experienced person in your family, they may be able to help you write your Terms of Reference, which should be fairly open ended and perhaps 1-2 pages in amount of content.

 

Then you have something to reflect on.

 

Such a report will cost hundreds or possibly low thousands, depending.

 

If you can rule out the larger development stuff eg if green belt, then it may be a simpler assessment and a cheaper report.

 

You should get a 30-60 minute chat first which may help you focus your terms of reference. Go in with written questions.

 

Don’t be afraid to ask naive questions.

 

And make sure you consider your interest .. eg do you want to come out of this with a nest egg.

 

All the best.

 

Ferdinand

Edited by Ferdinand
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I presume you have sight of the planning granted for the derelict dairy buildings, do you also have planning for the derelict house to be replaced?

It is very unlikely that you would be allowed to use the agricultural land for housing.Where we are a lot of farms steadings  have been converted to housing because they are within the existing building group but the land attached remains as just that-farm land.

 I can think of one near us where 6 houses were constructed from the existing derelict house and outbuildings and the rest of the land was sold split into small packets along with each house, mostly horsey people who purchased.

when we built our first house which was on my husbands uncles small farm , we had been utilising glasshouses that the uncle had on the site, using them to run a small plant nursery. We were allowed a house on virgin land but with a section 75 agreement. 14 years later we secured pp on the site of the now derelict glasshouses. We then some years later were able to secure further pp on the remainder of the piece of land because we had created with the other two houses an existing building group.

the section 75 agreement was eventually lifted after appeal to the Secretary of State as the nursery business had become unviable.

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I think location is key.

 

Up here you might get permission for one or 2 houses, one nearby got permission to build a house on the corner of one of his paddocks for instance.  But where my BIL lives in Wales he would be lucky to get anything other than permission to convert the old cow shed (which historically once was a "long house" before the new house was built and it was turned into the milking parlour)

 

My guess is converting or replacing any other existing buildings is the best chance.  How do the buildings sit on the land? if rebuilding / converting 2 buildings would they sit so the land could be split to make two 6 acre small holdings?

 

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The location is Sussex and the house and dairy are located fairly towards the middle - there is a track on the land which runs past both properties and then goes to a road - one at each end. 

 

Thank you. 

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I am a developer in Sussex and agree with @Ferdinand that a development appraisal from a chartered surveyor should give you a good idea of what your options are. They should be familiar with local planning policy, as well as advising on costs and values. Such a report is also useful if you require bank funding later, or for prospective purchasers should you wish to sell all or part.

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Posted (edited)

maybe develop what you got PP for and turn rest into a YURT/holiday cottages / camp site ?

you will need  house for your  site manager --so thats one   and work away over time 

 

 as already said keep it very secret 

Edited by scottishjohn

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