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  • Writer's pictureNFC Homes

Selling land: What you need to know about planning permission

Updated: Mar 9, 2021

If you have a plot of land and are considering selling it for development, understanding how planning permission can impact its value is essential. The planning and development process is complicated, so don't be too disheartened if you're finding the whole process completely overwhelming!

The main thing you need to know is that there are three main ways you can sell a piece of land, so we're going to take a closer look at these below. If you wish to sell your land with planning permission, we will explain what you need to do here as well.

How to sell your land

1. Without planning permission

The first option to consider is selling without planning permission. Although this is typically the quickest way to sell your land, it’s worth noting that it may not be valued as highly as a plot of land with planning permission. This is because the buyer is investing money in land they hope to secure planning permission on in the future, rather than land that comes with planning permission secured already.

Even if you think planning permission is likely to be granted, there are still risks involved for the buyer. As such, the offer they make will usually fall somewhere between the land’s current value and what it would be worth with planning permission.

However, this doesn’t mean there aren’t some benefits to selling land without planning permission. Planning permission can be both costly and time-consuming to get, so if you’re looking for a quick sale, selling without permission could be your best bet.

2. With planning permission

Your second option is to sell your land with planning permission. Selling with permission offers a number of benefits, with the two main benefits of this being:

• You have more control over how the land is used once it’s sold

• It will increase the value of the land as risk is removed.

The best way to go about this is to actually apply for outline planning permission, which approves the principle of development but allows some details, such as the design and style of the homes, to be determined in the future. This level of flexibility often helps to increase the interest in a plot of land for sale.

However, there are a few things to bear in mind.

3. On a ‘subject to planning’ basis

Another option to consider is agreeing to sell your land to a buyer who secures planning permission first. This is a popular option as another party will be responsible for investing the time and money into obtaining planning permission, meaning you gain the benefits of planning permission without risking any financial pitfalls yourself.

As a result, you may also find the buyer is willing to pay more for your land. However, it’s worth remembering that the planning permission process takes time, so if you’re looking for a quick sale, selling on a ‘subject to planning’ basis might not be ideal.

If I want planning permission, how do I get it?

As we mentioned above, applying for planning permission can be an arduous, time-consuming and expensive process - even more so if you’re selling a large piece of land. You'll first need to submit an application to your local authority. If you are submitting a small application, the best-case scenario is obtaining planning permission in 8 weeks. However, if it is anything above 10 units then your application will take a minimum of 13 weeks. Typically though, obtaining planning permission will take considerably longer than the timeframes listed here, with the entire process potentially taking more than 18 months to complete. If you think the council is going to refuse you planning permission based on your application, it's best to withdraw it and start again. Waiting for your application to be refused and then making the necessary amends only extends the process.

What happens once I have planning permission?

Once you have planning permission, you'll need to value your land before putting it up for sale. There are a number of factors that will influence its value, so to get a rough idea of how much you could sell your land for, check out our recent blog post on how to value your land.

How we can help

NFC Homes are experts in all aspects of property development and construction, with over 100 top-quality commercial and residential projects completed. We offer a free assessment of land value regardless of its current condition, planning status and use, and will prepare and submit an outline and full planning applications on your behalf. We pride ourselves on our exemplary and professional service.

Contact us today for a no-obligation chat with our friendly and knowledgeable advisors.


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