Have you found the perfect location but no houses that match your dream? A realistic option is to replace one of the existing dwellings with your own home. In this type of situation, the principle of development has already been established and applies equally to houses within rural and urban areas.

This approach gives you the advantage of transforming a rundown or poorly constructed dwelling into a modern, comfortable home designed around you. This is even possible in Green Belt, conservation areas or locations within the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. There are Community Infrastructure Levy and VAT exceptions you could apply for if you meet the criteria.

Is planning permission required?

While the principle of the development has been established obtaining planning permission can be a complex process. Local Authorities will need to consider a number of factors such as design, scale, landscaping and access. For example small houses in the countryside may not have much visual impact on their surroundings and rural character but replacing them with significantly larger, even grandiose properties, is unlikely to be considered acceptable. Additionally a Cotswold village consisting of dwellings constructed in limestone will not be appropriate for a red brick built dwelling.

In our experience while there is overarching national planning policy each local authority will have its own interpretation when considering a replacement dwelling application. Ideally you should consider sourcing an existing unlisted house in poor repair on a site with potential. The current property will need to exhibit all the essential characteristics of a house and currently be in use as one.

The ultimate size of the replacement dwelling will be defined by factors such as the existing dwelling, proposed design and designation in the Green Belt. Consequently, most applications for buildings significantly larger than that which they are replacing are generally only permitted in exceptional circumstances and where fully justified.

What are the main factors to consider?

  • Likelihood of flooding
  • Highways safety and impact
  • Landscape and visual impact
  • Impact on public rights of way
  • Impact on designations such as Green Belt or AONBs
  • Noise impact
  • Neighbour amenity
  • Ecology

Other factors to consider include Design, Materials, Scale, Use, Siting and Drainage.

Budget: For a Replacement Dwelling you should be budgeting £3500 to £4500 for the planning consultant. On top of this you need to account for surveys and drawings which will cost between £2750 and over £6750. Total budget between £6500 and £10500.

Timescale: Estimate 6 to 12 months

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