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What to know when buying land in the UK

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Buying land can be an attractive investment, especially where there is the possibility to develop property on the site or otherwise improve it to increase its value. However, to ensure a good return on your investment, there are a number of key issues you should consider to make sure the land is a good fit for your plans and to minimise the risks involved in the purchase.

What type of land are you buying?

There are two main types of land you can normally buy in the UK – Greenfield land and Brownfield land. Greenfield sites are previously undeveloped land, such as fields, while a Brownfield site is land that already has, or had, buildings on it.

While is often it possible to develop on both types of land, it may be easier to get planning permission on Brownfield sites. However, if you wish to change the use of the land or property on it e.g. from offices to flats, you will usually need to apply for permission to do so.

Do you need planning permission?

If your aim is to develop property on the land you are buying, then you will need planning permission. Some sites come with planning permission already attached, but this normally makes them much more expensive.

If you are looking at buying land to develop that does not already have suitable planning permission in place, you will need to carefully consider the time and cost involved in getting planning, as well as the possibility that planning could be denied.

Are the boundaries clear?

An issue that many people overlook when buying land is making sure that the property’s boundaries are clearly defined. Just because there is a fence or other boundary marker in place, does not mean that this runs along the legal boundary of the property.

Having a land survey carried out will clearly establish the boundaries of the plot, meaning you will know exactly what you are buying. This can potentially save you a significant amount of time and money further down the line if someone disputes the boundaries of your site.

Are there any issues affecting the site that could interfere with your plans?

It is highly recommended to have your conveyancing solicitor carry out a number of searches and checks when buying land, to make sure there are no issues that could affect your investment later on.

This checks are likely to include local authority searches to check for issues such as any other planned developments in the local area, water and drainage searches to uncover issues such as any public sewers beneath your property and environmental searches, which will look at issues such as any land contamination on your site.

Exactly which checks and searches will be appropriate is likely to depend on the specific piece of land you are buying. It is therefore a good idea to consult a conveyancing solicitor experienced in land purchases to ensure they have the necessary expertise to give you the best possible advice and support.

Find a reliable conveyancing team experienced in land transactions

Bird & Co Solicitors is a Conveyancing Quality Scheme accredited law firm offering conveyancing services for people buying and selling land, as well as for residential and commercial property deals across England and Wales.

We operate from 3 offices in the East Midlands, providing a fast, reliable and cost-effective conveyancing service for landowners, property developers and more. We aim to make the process of buying and selling land as smooth and stress-free as possible, while taking account of your objectives.

To find out more about our conveyancing for buying and selling land, call us today on 01476 591711 or use our contact page for details of your nearest Bird & Co office.

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