Posts from the ‘FAQ’ category

How to Find a Rural Building Plot

plot for saleDon’t underestimate the time it takes to find your perfect site, it’s often the most time consuming aspect of a self-build project. It’s also the most important decisions you’ll make as it will impact on the design, the cost and logistics. So how do you go about finding a Rural housing Plot?

Estate Agents

National and local estate agents will list plots for sale. It’s worth contacting them and adding yourself to their mail list so that you are kept up-dated when new sites are advertised.

Other Websites

There are  several online sites that advertise plots for sale. Plot Finder and Build Store  are some of the largest but there are also sites like Wreck of the Week, which lists derelict buildings and renovation opportunities throughout the UK


Make sure you check the local newspaper or local magazine where you would like to buy a site. A local landowner may advertise a site for sale via the local newspaper.

Our Mailing List

You can join our mailing list as we often send out a newsletter if one of our clients are selling a plot or site with outline or full planning permission.

Approach Land Owner Directly

If you have a specific area in mind then it may be worth while approaching a local farmer, crofter or land owner to see if they would be interested in selling you a piece of land.

Before Buying a Rural Plot


If you’re in the process of looking for a plot to build a new home then it can be both an exciting and daunting process. To help you, we’ve put a together a few points to keep in mind when assessing a potential plot.

How do you access the site?

A long access road can be very costly and add significantly to your budget, while a shorter more level access will be considerably cheaper. If there is an existing access road to the site assess whether it’s suitable for a large lorry or construction vehicles delivering materials for example a timber frame or steel work to site.

What about services?

Some sites are available serviced, which means that there is a water connection and electrical connection on site. However many others in remoter areas do not.

If the plot you are looking at is un-serviced check if there is a mains water connection near the site. If there is no mains water in the area you may have to look at a private supply or borehole, which can add additional cost.

Likewise check that there is an electrical connection close to the site.  If the connection point is far away from the site it can also add to your budget.

Is there mains sewage connection available? Or will a private septic tank or treatment plant be required?

Ground Conditions

Assess the ground conditions carefully. It is possible to build on any ground condition but you don’t want most of your budget being used to get the building out of the ground!

The Site

A major part of the design of a bespoke house is a response to the site: the view, the topography, the orientation, the local vernacular, the local materials and trades. If you have a very strong idea of what you would like make sure the site is right for it. For example: if you want a house on one level don’t buy a steeply sloping site.

When you’ve found a site you’d like to purchase, contact the studio for an informal chat about the site or e-mail pictures and planning information through and we will happily look over the information and answer any questions you may have. Alternatively you could arrange for an architect to visit the site and produce a feasibility study.

Planning Permission

The studio has a wealth of experience in obtaining planning on both urban and rural sites and has developed a close working relationship with many Planning Authorities over the years.  We have extensive experience in working on sensitive sites such as National Scenic Areas and Woodlands, as well as designated Conservation areas.

We would always recommend a collaborative approach and believe that early pre planning discussions can reduce the cost of planning work and expedite timescales.

What is Planning Permission?

Construction of new buildings and extensive changes to existing buildings usually require consent from the local planning authority. Any development that involves the development of a new building, either a new build, conversion or sub-division requires planning permission. Extensions or outbuildings often require planning permission but this depends on their size and permitted development rights associated with the property.

Planning in Principal

Planning in Principal or Outline Planning Permission means that the local Planning Authority has given approval in principle for a house(s) to be built on the site, but the design of the house(s) has not yet been approved.

Detailed Planning Permission

Full Planning Consent gives approval for the design of the building. It also confirms where the house is to be sited, how water, sewage and storm water is dealt with, how the access is configured and any landscaping proposals. The local authority will consult with other statutory bodies, such as the roads department or water authority, during this application.

If the site is in a sensitive area such as in a Conservation area, National Scenic Area or in the curtilage of a listed or ancient monument then the local authority will have to consult with other bodies such as Historic Scotland or Scottish National Heritage. If your converting or refurbishing a listed building you may also require listed building consent.

Statutory Consent Fees

Whether you are applying for Planning in Principle or Full Planning Permission, these applications entail fees. Planning fees for a single house in Scotland are generally in the region of £401, In England £385 and in Wales £330. You may also require to pay an additional advertisement fee. Planning fees for extensions are less. These are normally between £100 – £200

How Long Does a Planning Application Take?

Planning Permission should take approximately eight weeks but it can take longer if your proposals are complex or the Planning Authority or Consultees require further information. The Planning Authority can refuse your Planning Application if they deem it to be unsuitable.

How Long Does Planning Consent Last?

Planning Permission is valid for normally three years from the date of the approval. Work must commence within this time period.

Local Planning Authorities

There are thirty two Planning Authorities and 2 National Park Authorities in Scotland click here for more information

Click here for more information on English and Welsh Planning Authorities and National Park Authorities

Building Warrant

Once you have Planning Permission the next stage of the project is the production of detailed drawings and the production of a Building Warrant Application.

What is Building Warrant?

A building warrant is permission granted by your local council. It details how your project will be constructed which should meet the current Building Regulation Standard Regulations.

What Does a Building Warrant Application Comprise of?

Your project must meet the current building standards. The building warrant submission will include a full set of detailed drawings, comprising of plans, sections, elevations and details showing details of the layout, materials, structure, electric, plumbing and other details of your building.  A Structural Engineer will be required to provide structural calculations, details and S.E.R Certificate and  U-value calculations and SAP test relating to the energy efficiency of the building will also require to be submitted. All of this information will be submitted to Building Standards as part of the building warrant application.

How Long Does Building Warrant Approval Take?

It normally takes around six weeks to receive building warrant, however on more complex projects this can take longer.

How Much Does a Building Warrant Application Cost?

The cost for a Building Warrant varies depending on the work required. The fee for the Building Warrant is based on the cost of the works to be carried out. The minimum fee payable for a building warrant is £100 this is based on a cost of work at £5000. The fee increases £15 for each additional £500 worth of works up to a value of £100,000. Click here for further information

How Long Does The Building Warrant Approval last for? 

The Building Warrant Approval lasts for three years.