I live in a large house with extensive gardens and am thinking of selling off part of it for building. Can I approach a developer to do this, or would I have to apply to the Local Authority myself and then sell the plot with planning permission?
You have various options, but the most important point to bear in mind is that the plot with the benefit of planning permission is going to be more valuable.
It is usually the case that the seller obtains his own planning consent for the plot and then offers it for sale with the benefit of such consent. Alternatively, you could sell the plot without the benefit of planning permission, with the land being worth less accordingly, and leave it to the developer, or purchaser, to make his, or their, own application for planning consent.
A third option, which is increasingly attractive to developers, is an Option to Purchase. This enables a developer to secure an Option to Purchase the property which is exercisable once planning permission has been obtained.
This gives the developer a certain period of time, say six to 12 months, in which to secure appropriate planning consent for the site at which time the developer or buyer then exercises the option to purchase the land at a previously agreed price.
This provides the buyer with the security in the knowledge that once planning consent has been obtained there is a binding agreement. For the seller, it provides comfort in the knowledge that, at an agreed price, the land will be sold once suitable consent has been obtained – subject, of course, to the time limits imposed by the Option Agreement.
Provided you secure the price you are seeking to achieve for the plot, it may be easier to sell it at this agreed price leaving the buyer to make all the running with regard to planning permission. If, however, a buyer is only interested in purchasing with the benefit of suitable planning consent then you will need to obtain this first.