Getting planning permission for a new build home

Q: My husband and I are considering applying for planning permission to build a separate house on our land in a small wood for our retirement. We may need to approach the farmer who backs onto the wood for access - paying him for a 'right of way'. We would then look into a Scandinavian type eco friendly kit house as a self-build project. Grateful for any advice on how to go about this - we have already been turned down by the local authority to convert our barn into a house.


There is strong support for building new houses within the planning system at the moment, however, it is important to find out and understand whether there may be constraints on your land that might prohibit or restrict development such as Green Belt or Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty designations or more locally identified protected woodlands and open space areas. You should be able to find these designations on your Council’s planning proposals map, which will be available on their web-site, and I would strongly recommend having a pre-application meeting with the planning department to discuss the principle of whether building a new house would be acceptable. If you can get the principle agreed, then detailed design will always be an area of negotiation but a sustainable ‘ecohome’ could well be received positively. If the proposals maps seems to indicate that your land is covered by potentially restrictive designations, then it might be a good idea to discuss your proposals with a planning consultant to see if they can help find a way through what can sometimes be a complex minefield.


Simon Wallis BA Hons, MA, MRTPI, Associate Director, Planning at Savills, Incorporating The London Planning Practice Ltd


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