Top Tips for Finding Your Plot

Building plot site preparation

Be realistic

There is no magic formula for finding a plot. Whatever method you use, the chances are a lot of other people have tried it too. Save yourself time and heartache by setting a realistic budget.

Be persistent

Phone around the estate agents – constantly – so they get to know you. Many plots are on the market for only a matter of days, so if the agents know you are looking for a plot, you are in the box seat.

Use your initiative

Don’t rely on others to find your plot for you. As much as possible do the hard graft yourself. Ask around at pubs etc. Speak to farmers. Distribute leaflets in the area in which you are looking. Contact anyone who sells land, including government agencies.

Learn the jargon

Do you know the difference between Outline Planning Permission (OPP) and Detailed Planning Permission (DPP). What is a Conservation Area? What is a listed building? What is Green Belt? What is a brownfield site? Get reading!

Stay open minded

replacement dwelling.jpg

Think laterally. Even the most unappealing plot can be the site of your dream home if you think creatively. Many an award-winning house has been built on a narrow or sloping plot. Good architects love a challenge which can often bring out their best work. But bear in mind, that it will probably cost more.

Beware of sharks!

Watch out for unscrupulous vendors selling land described as a ‘building plot’ when it has little chance of ever winning OPP. Without PP it is not really a building plot at all. There are sharks around trying to sell land with no PP at exaggerated prices.

Check out your local authority to see if they have self build schemes

Local authorities have come under increasing pressure from the government to do more for wannabe selfbuilders, including setting up registers, where you can indicate that you are interested in building a home in their area. This interest has to be taken into account in local planning policy. Read more on our Right to Build page

Investigate custom build schemes in your area

These provide opportunities to self build in areas where plots may otherwise be thin on the ground. Specialist custom builders usually offer a range of services, from turn-key packages, which include the complete design and build, to part-builds, where the shell is erected leaving the selfbuilder to apply the finishing touches.

Explore large-scale projects

conversion.jpgThese often have potential to be split into several properties. A large development or barn conversion may be out of the question for the average selfbuilder to take on individually, but together with other like-minded selfbuilders it can be feasible. There are good examples of affordable housing selfbuilds, as well as collectives and trusts that have been set up specifically for multiple-build projects.



These tips are provided by

PlotBrowser - FREE plot finding online

Search our website to see 1000s of building plots suitable for building a single home in locations accross the country.

Most sites listed on have links to local authority planning pages and planning application reference numbers so that you can fully explore the existing permissions for each site.

And remember, in many cases you don't have to build to the existing plans, you can often submit an appication for an alternative scheme.

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