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  • Writer's pictureRogerHines

Greenfield Considerations for a Development

Updated: May 21, 2022

So we all dream of having that dream home, close enough to civilisation to enjoy the amenities, but far enough away to have our own slice of the countryside.

Unfortunately, they are a few things that can stand in the way of that dream, and one of them is if the land you have fallen in love with, is defined as being within the designation of greenfield.

Firstly let's understand what greenfield land is; greenfield land is an area of countryside absent from all forms of development; the land may have been used as agricultural land and usually lacks all sense of infrastructure.

The greenfield should not be mistaken for green belt land. This land has been protected to stop things such as urban sprawl, encourage development within existing settlements and help to preserve the character of an area.

So, does that mean you can't build your dream home within a greenfield plot??

Certainly not, but you will have to put more effort (effort = costs) into a planning application if it is to be received positively.

Here is a quick list of key considerations you will need to consider.

  • Understanding the planning designations and restrictions upon the land.

  • Sustainability - is the location close to local amenities and considered a part of an existing area of built development.

  • Planning Balance - will your proposal be able to meet the needs of the local planning authorities' core strategies?

  • Planning History - is there any evidence of previous planning applications that may have been sought on the plot, or local planning applications that can be used to help demonstrate that your proposal is viable

This list is a very brief insight into only a few considerations that will be needed to be taken into account. An essential thing to consider if you've not already or are thinking about purchasing the land is the payment agreement. In many cases, you are recommended to aim for an Option Agreement to be in place; this would secure your right to purchase the land at the end of a designated period (say after planning approval) for an agreed price. Without such an agreement in place, you run the risk of increasing the lands value for the present owner with no financial rewards yourself.

So, what now... Do I get my house design done???

In short, NO!

Here is the route we would recommend once you have your Option Agreement in place:

  1. Phase 1 Site Investigations

  2. Topographical Survey with the intention to build

  3. Drainage Surveys

  4. Ecological, Tree and Flood Surveys

  5. Architectural Design, if the previous reports and surveys demonstrate that the project is feasible.

It is worth noting that we often enrol many specialised consultants on such projects that help identify and address all of the stages above. The most important is a good Planning Consultant; a Planning Consultant will be able to help identify all of the areas of concern that will be brought up in the event of a planning submission. They are definitely a consultant that you want onboard early within the process.

In Conclusion in regards to getting planning permission on a greenfield site

From what you just read, you can tell that applying for planning permission on a greenfield site is not straight forwards, you may even be asking 'is it worth trying to get planning on a greenfield site'.

Well, ultimately the choice is yours, if you love the plot and are willing to put in the time and effort to find the right consultants to put together a compelling planning application then yes. Here at Studio Perfectus we can take care of all of that for you, from arranging a Planning Consultant to putting together a project team to see your application through to submission.

Although these projects are demanding, they are often the most rewarding, giving you the home you have always dreamed of, or a development that is highly rewarding.

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