Guest post by Zoe Price
London is a hub of activity, business, and entertainment for all ages. It is the capital city, and one of the most famous places around the world. There is plenty of reason, then, that people wish to move and live there. Finding a self-build project in London might come with some challenges, but there is always a way forward if you know where to look. If you are considering buying land to build on in this city, read the following guidelines to help the process along.
Where to Find a Good Architect
When it comes to architects in London, you have to be in the loop on what to look for.
- Go with what feels right for your vision by assessing their portfolio of prior work in the first instance.
- After this, set up a meeting to discuss your specific thought path and whether or not they can deliver in line with your thinking.
- It is also important to discuss the budget, prices, and all other monetary expectations.
- Read the reviews of previous clients to get a better sense of how they handle client relationships and communication because this is an extremely vital part of what makes this partnership functional.
So, whether you go with this architect firm or another one entirely, make sure the research process led you there and that you are not just agreeing to the first thing you see.
How to Communicate with the Local Planning Department
The ability to establish a rapport with the local planning department will definitely work in your favour. You will be back and forth with them a lot over the course of the build, and there will be barriers to overcome on both sides. You have to talk to them for planning permission purposes, keeping them in the loop with building plans, and providing evidence and counterproposals as things move ahead.
Where to Find Viable Land
So, where can you actually find viable land to build on in London? The possibilities are vast, therefore there is little need to become too preoccupied. Even if there is nothing in your initial search path, something will come up that fits your needs and your budget. Until it does, you can carry on making plans and sourcing contracts to help you fulfill the project brief. Here are the best four places to do your research, and remember to check every day and act fast to secure a viewing because viable land goes fast in a popular area!
Local Planning Registers
Talk to the local planning and housing department at the council in the area you want to build in. Explore a range of areas instead of limiting yourself to just one, unless you have an absolute reason like work or school to tie you to a specific zone. There will be a list that is updated regularly of potential plots and similar places that are for sale for you to access through this channel. Often, these are the ones that might not necessarily belong with estate agents or other avenues.
Search for private sellers online, but be wary of scammers. Typically, a land scam will be discernable from your gut instinct but it is still good to know the warning signs. If an advert seems too good to be true, the age old saying, it probably is! Someone boasting a mansion-sized plot for a few thousand pounds is either not legitimate, or trying to sell something unviable. The same can be said for shady typing with lots of spelling and grammatical errors, or someone who requires upfront payment before you even set foot for a viewing.
Checking out land auctions is always useful. It gives you a good idea of what’s out there, and this is a legitimate way to purchase a plot for either a reduced price or getting more for your budget. It is worth remembering that land auctions often have problematic options as well, so be aware of that.
Estate agent services will always have land to sell, and this is definitely a place you can trust to represent the best interests of the plot for their own reputation’s sake and promote positive B2C relationships for their brand.
There are, after all, multiple types of plots to explore in London. You can find abandoned plots from demolished buildings that once served a different purpose entirely, for example, an industrial powerhouse. There are also rural land options, dilapidated structures in desperate need of an update, and urban areas too dotted around the boroughs.
How to Be Sustainable with Your Building Project
Sustainability should always be a core focus for any modern build. The whole world is focusing on how to protect the environment, and building regulations are constantly reflecting this in their ever-changing practices. Move towards earth-friendly plans by considering:
- How you can channel green energy sources
- Which building materials you use for every corner of the home and garden
- Your impact on biodiversity
- Reducing waste wherever possible and sourcing ethical connections from start to finish
Considering Points of Access
Don’t forget to consult with the local planning office about road access and general entry/exit requirements for the property and surrounding area. You don’t want to miss this out, because though overlooked at first, it is a major factor that will contribute to the overall efficiency and value of the building. You need to be able to get in and out safely and have limited negative impact on the external community. The property can’t be a traffic jam in the making or impede local roads so all of this has to be factored in and fully accounted for.
London is a great place to build your forever home, or a build and sell venture too. There are hundreds of plots to pick from in all shapes and sizes and affluent areas that are more than worth investing in. To get it done efficiently, it is best to onboard an architect and a brilliant construction crew that can help you focus on what’s important and guide you every step of the way. Ultimately, your dream home just requires some logical planning.