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Fancy building your own home? Five plots for sale and what you can do

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New planning rules could shake things up and allow communities to have more of a say in what is built in their area.

They include giving neighbours the chance to veto or back proposals for new housing nearby. The Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill will allow ‘street votes’, with new developments being blocked if a two-thirds majority of residents do not agree to support them.

Difficulties in getting approval to build a new home – under the current or any proposed system – mean that sites with planning permission already granted are in high demand. We take a look at five around the country below – and what you could build there.

Fancy buying a plot of land to build your own home? (Scroll down for more detail about this plot for sale)

Fancy buying a plot of land to build your own home? (Scroll down for more detail about this plot for sale)

Housing Secretary Michael Gove believes giving people a say will create more backing for development, but critics claim the bill is a recipe for disaster, as it is likely to lead to more neighbours at war if people are given a veto.

In light of a potentially controversial planning environment ahead, building sites that already have planning permission granted are likely to be even more sought-after.

We take a look at five building plots for sale around the country, with asking prices ranging from £120,000 to £550,000.

Buyers should always do their own research ahead of buying a plot of land and consider using a planning consultant.

1. Building plot, £350k, Hasketon, Suffolk

This garden building plot in the village of Hasketon, Suffolk, has planning permission for a three-bed house and is being sold for £350,000

This garden building plot in the village of Hasketon, Suffolk, has planning permission for a three-bed house and is being sold for £350,000

The plot extends to 0.2 acres, and includes an existing period cottage that needs to be demolished as part of the planning consent

The plot extends to 0.2 acres, and includes an existing period cottage that needs to be demolished as part of the planning consent

This garden building plot is in the village of Hasketon, in Suffolk, and extends to 0.2 acres.

The existing period cottage has been unoccupied for a number of years, and has full planning permission to be demolished and replaced with a modern three-bedroom detached house.

The new 2,600 square feet two-storey family home will have far-reaching south and west facing views across the surrounding meadows towards the parish church.

The plot is being sold via Jackson-Stops estate agents with an asking price of £350,000.

2. Building plot, £225k, Willesborough

This plot of land in the village of Willesborough in Kent has full planning permission to build a  detached house and is being sold for £225,000

This plot of land in the village of Willesborough in Kent has full planning permission to build a  detached house and is being sold for £225,000

The new property will have three bedrooms, including a main bedroom with an en-suite bathroom

The new property will have three bedrooms, including a main bedroom with an en-suite bathroom

This plot of land in the village of Willesborough in Kent has full planning permission to build an architecturally striking detached bungalow.

The new property will have three bedrooms, including a main bedroom with an en-suite bathroom. The approved plans feature two adjoining single-storey pitched roof small barn type structures, with open plan living accomodation on one side and bedrooms on the other.

The finished building would be just shy of 1,500 square feet and the plot is being sold by Hobbs and Parker estate agents with an asking price of £225,000.

3. Building plot, Masbury, £550k

This building plot for sale in Masbury, Somerset, is on the south side of the Mendips and is being sold for £550,000

This building plot for sale in Masbury, Somerset, is on the south side of the Mendips and is being sold for £550,000

The site is south-facing and boasts far-reaching views of Glastonbury Tor, a hill near Glastonbury that is topped by the roofless St Michael's Tower

The site is south-facing and boasts far-reaching views of Glastonbury Tor, a hill near Glastonbury that is topped by the roofless St Michael’s Tower

The barn on the site has planning permission for a two-bedroom house to be built

The barn on the site has planning permission for a two-bedroom house to be built

This freehold building plot in Masbury, Somerset, on the south side of the Mendips boasts far-reaching views of Glastonbury Tor.

The barn on the site is south-facing and planning permission has been given for a two-bedroom house.

The site is being sold with an asking price of offers of more than £550,000 via Sandersons estate agents.

Mr Copley said: ‘This beautiful plot of land benefits from an idyllic rural location in Somerset, and is located right on the doorstep of the Mendips. 

‘The picturesque town of Shepton Mallet and the historic city of Wells are also a short distance away.’ 

4. Building plot, Crossgates, £120k

This building plot has planning permission for a four-bedroom detached property and costs £120,000

This building plot has planning permission for a four-bedroom detached property and costs £120,000

This building plot has planning permission for a four-bedroom detached property.

The plans for the dormer property include an open-plan kitchen and dining area, a bay-fronted living room, and a ground floor bedroom along with a bathroom.

The remaining three bedrooms are on the first floor, as well as another bathroom and a separate shower room.

There are no real-life photos of the undeveloped site in the listing. 

The site is in Crossgates, a village in North Yorkshire, and it has an asking price of £120,000. The land is being sold by CPH Property Services.

Daniel Copley, of Zoopla, said: ‘This spacious plot in Scarborough would make the perfect place for a family looking to build a home that is ideally catered to their needs. Even better for prospective buyers, it already comes with planning permission for a three or four-bedroom detached dwelling.’ 

5. Building plot, Uddingston, £179k

The building plot in Uddingston, South Lanarkshire, has planning consent for a new house and is for sale for £179,000

The building plot in Uddingston, South Lanarkshire, has planning consent for a new house and is for sale for £179,000

This building plot is in Uddingston, a small town in South Lanarkshire, Scotland.

It comes with planning consent for a large detached home with four bedrooms, include a main bedroom with a dressing room.

The plot is currently unserviced, but the services are nearby, according to the agents handling the sale. It is being sold by Residence estate agents for £179,000.

Finance available via Help to Build

Those looking to build their own home can  benefit from a £150million Government initiative called Help to Build.

This is where an individual homebuilder will be expected to put up a 5 per cent deposit, while the Government will loan 20 per cent of the build cost, with a 75 per cent mortgage making up the rest and a ceiling of £600,000.

It is a practical option for self-builders.

‘Building your own home isn’t a dream limited to the rich or the adventurous,’ says TV broadcaster Kevin McCloud on the National Custom & Self Build Association portal. ‘Anyone can do it and the rewards are fantastic. 

‘They usually make homes which are much greener and built to higher quality standards than the norm. Savings are typically a quarter to a half of the costs.’ 

You need to do your research as there are plenty of tips to learn that can make the journey smoother.

For example, submitting a pre-application so the planners can pick what they don’t like in your plans at an early stage will save disappointment later.

About 13,000 people build their own homes in Britain every year. It is hoped that number will increase to as many as 40,000 new homes a year with the introduction of Help To Build.

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Bloom secures planning for London ultra-urban warehouse developments (GB)

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Bloom has secured planning consent for two developments in central London. The developments are located in Hackney and Brixton and are the first to be carried out by Bloom for its €290.4m (£250m) ultra-urban warehouse joint venture with Angelo Gordon to acquire and develop sites in central London. In Hackney, on a site by the A12 next to 331 Wick Road, Bloom will develop two units, totaling 14,045ft², designed by Michael Sparks Associates. Construction will start next month, with completion expected in April 2023. In Brixton, at 146-156 Brixton Hill and Units 5 & 6 Waterworks Road, Bloom will develop five units, totaling 35,360ft², designed by Chetwoods. Construction will start in September, with completion expected in August 2023.

 

Both developments will be targeting a BREEAM sustainability rating of ‘Excellent’ and an EPC rating of ‘A+’ in accord with Bloom’s core sustainability objective to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through construction and operational efficiency. The schemes will include extensive urban greening through the implementation of green walls, green roofs, increased landscaping, bird boxes, and insect hotels to significantly improve the biodiversity; renewable energy in the form of solar photovoltaic panels on the roofs; and lorry, car, and cycle EV charging points to encourage sustainable and active modes of transport as well as enhanced power capacity to accommodate future EV transport technologies.

 

Tom Davies, co-founder of Bloom, said: “Our first two planning consents represent an important milestone for the Bloom team, which is working hard to deliver high-quality and design-led industrial and logistics schemes in supply-constrained inner London sub-markets”.

 

Sam McGirr, co-founder of Bloom, said: “These planning consents for well-located sites give us the opportunity to meet the high demand for convenience and speed from businesses, such as F&B delivery, post and parcel, e-mobility, self-storage and urban logistics and consumers in the local communities”.

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Could equity release be used to help more younger homebuyers?

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Younger first-time buyers could be given more financial help from the Bank of Grandma and Grandad, through the use of improved equity release products, a new report suggests.

The document written by Tom McPhail, of consultancy The Lang Cat, claimed that younger buyers are missing out because older members of their family are unable to satisfactorily tap into their property wealth.

Mr McPhail said: ‘Releasing some of the equity in a property means older homeowners can choose when and how they share their wealth with younger generations.

‘An equity release by grandparents of say £20,000 now, could be transformational for a 20 something struggling to raise a deposit and get on the housing ladder but would make only a very modest dent to the value of the grandparent’s house.’

Releasing some of the equity in a property means older homeowners can choose when and how they share their wealth with younger generations, says new report

Releasing some of the equity in a property means older homeowners can choose when and how they share their wealth with younger generations, says new report

The report acknowledged that equity release has endured a poor reputation in the past after customers suffered ‘severe’ financial knocks.

The sector has been criticised for encouraging people to take on debt, particularly later on in life.

There has also been other concerns about equity release, such as customers falling into negative equity where the value of a property is less than the loan taken out against it when house prices fall.

The report suggested that while the equity release sector has since begun to put ‘its house in order’, it is ‘still not perfect’ and some regulatory safeguards need to be strengthened.

It called for several issues to be looked at, including early redemption charges on equity release products.

It said that most providers apply a simple sliding scale of charges, for example 10 per cent in year on to 1 per cent in year 10.

However, it claimed that some providers apply an early redemption charge based on prevailing gilt rates at that time, putting customers at an ‘unfair disadvantage’.

This is because the fees are not transparent as there is no way a customer can know in advance whether they’d be liable for a charge and if so, how much. 

In the past, customers have also fallen foul of the small print on their equity release loans when it comes to early-redemption penalties – such as couples who must pay an exit fee unless both of them need to go into care.

The report also raised questions about interest rates on equity release products. It said providers should be consistent with their lending criteria and not move the goalposts after customers have taken out a loan, as this can make it harder for them to access a top-up loan in the future, potentially forcing them to remortgage. 

Equity release products could help people access their property wealth to help younger members of their family onto the property ladder

Equity release products could help people access their property wealth to help younger members of their family onto the property ladder

The report argued that equity release products could help people access their property wealth to help younger members of their family onto the property ladder.

Mr McPhail added: ‘Raising a deposit has become an increasingly significant barrier to getting on the housing ladder, with increasing numbers of first-time buyers having to rely on financial help from older generations.

‘Releasing some of the equity in a property allows older homeowners to choose when and how they share their wealth with the younger generation.

‘This more targeted approach gives them greater control to use their assets to the maximum benefit at the point of need.’

Raising a deposit is a barrier to getting on the housing ladder, with increasing numbers of first-time buyers having to rely on financial help from older generations, says the report's author Tom McPhail

Raising a deposit is a barrier to getting on the housing ladder, with increasing numbers of first-time buyers having to rely on financial help from older generations, says the report’s author Tom McPhail

Equity release: How it works and advice

To help readers considering equity release, This is Money has partnered with Age Partnership+, independent advisers who specialise in retirement mortgages and equity release. 

Age Partnership+ compares deals across the whole of the market and their advisers can help you work out whether equity release is right for you – or whether there are better options, such as downsizing. 

Age Partnership+ advisers can also see if those with existing equity release deals can save money by switching. 

You can compare equity release rates and work out how much you could potentially borrow with This is Money’s new calculator powered by broker Age Partnership+.* 

 * Partner link

Jonathan Harris, of mortgage broker Forensic Property Finance, said: ‘Equity release has historically been viewed as a ‘murky’, high-risk sector, fuelled by minimal regulation, poorly-qualified advisers, only a handful of lenders and extortionately high interest rates.

‘Fast forward to today and we see a dramatically transformed sector, benefiting from strict regulation, highly-qualified advisers, multiple lenders and access to very competitive interest rates. 

‘Not surprisingly, equity release is now a viable and growing market for older borrowers looking to utilise the gains seen on property prices to bolster lifestyles, as well as pass on wealth to children when they need it.

‘Those considering equity release should make sure they understand the implications and involve family in any decision-making. It is always important to seek advice from suitably-qualified advisers.’

It comes as a separate report by Legal & General suggested that one in every £90 spent by retired Britons is funded by equity release.

It said that equity release funded an estimated £3billion in retirement spending last year, although it didn’t mentioned the money going to younger generations towards buying a property.

Instead, the report’s survey of 2,000 homeowners found that those with equity release have most frequently used the product to finance home improvements, at 26 per cent.

It said equity release is also being used to support costs such as medical expenses at 17 per cent, maintaining living standards in retirement at 16 per cent, and paying off personal debt at 16 per cent, for example paying off interest-only mortgages. 

It suggested that equity release is likely to play an increasingly important role in financing care-related expenses, with 19 per cent of prospective homeowners citing it as a consideration.

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Allianz Real Estate buys prime office building in Rome (IT)

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Allianz Real Estate, advised by Dils, has acquired an office property in the centre of Rome. The transaction, worth circa €175m, is one of the most important to have been carried out on the real estate market in Rome in recent years.

 

The building, consisting of eleven storeys, comprising nine above-ground and two underground, has a gross lettable area of circa 22,000m² and has undergone a major refurbishment, offering the highest environmental sustainability and energy efficiency standards (LEED Gold Certification). The strategic location, between the CBD and Termini Station, is enjoying great success, especially among corporate occupiers. 

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