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Part One - Setting Out

Posted by Redoctober , 05 September 2015 · 1,474 views

Well this is it, we have finally reached a tipping point. Our retirement plans, which were no more than mere dreams and aspirations some 7 -8 years ago, have now become more focussed following the acceptance of an offer, on a plot of land, North of the Border.
Yes, over the coming months, we are looking to finalise the sale on a plot of land nestled in the rural landscape of the Scottish Borders.
Once secured, we plan to sit on it for a couple of years pending my actual retirement and no doubt the intervening months will provide many anecdotes for this blog.

Anyway, coming from South of the Border, we expected that negotiations over the offer price would be conducted within 24 – 48 hours and by way of a few telephone conversations. Oh no. Ten days after we made our first “marker” offer, we received an 8 page legal document from the solicitors setting out the offer and everything that goes with it. I’m yet to find how much that is all going to cost, so watch this space!

Therefore and somewhat surprisingly, it took us the best part of three months just to agree a price but nonetheless, an agreement has been reached.

Now the hard work begins as the deal could fold at any one of these hurdles –
We need to secure planning permission for our proposed dwelling, arrange for the soil to be tested both for strength and porosity and the utility companies need to be contacted to ensure there are no nasty surprises with regards to connections etc.
We also need to confirm that the plot boundary is confirmed as being that as indicated by the OS map supplied as part of the agreement.

I intend to continue with this blog, providing updates and insights as to our progress as the months pass by but in between time, please feel free to offer any experiences and or guidance, as to what we should be looking out for and asking about as we look to secure the plot of land.

Paul.



All sounds very hopeful.

as someone who has bought two plots under the Scottish legal system I may be able to give you some pointers. Perhaps best asked as questions on the main forums? But suffice it to say I hope you have engaged a Scottish solicitor rather than hoping an English one can muddle through it.

You need to make sure your offer is subject to planning permission so nail that one. During the time the PP is being processed get quotes from all the utilities and if you need deeds of servitude for services to cross other people's land negotiate those.

As to plot boundaries, talk to your solicitor about getting a P16 report. That will show the boundaries as the land registry think they are and you can compare that with what's marked on the ground and what the seller thinks they are selling.
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Yes thankfully we do have a scottish solicitor on board. We expected to be dealing with an estate agent first but no, we were put straignt into the hands of a solicitor attached to the branch. I shalll certainly mention the P16 report as well as trying to gain an understanding of it myself as I haven't heard of such a thing before, so many thanks for the pointer.
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Redoctober, on 06 September 2015 - 08:22 AM, said:

Yes thankfully we do have a scottish solicitor on board. We expected to be dealing with an estate agent first but no, we were put straignt into the hands of a solicitor attached to the branch.

I don't know Scottish law but I hope that solicitor isn't connected to the vendor? I'd expect you to have to find your own, not be given one!

I wouldn't worry too much about soil strength, there'll be a solution unless it is a very strange situation. Is your concern about porosity because you'll have off-mains drainage?

As ProDave said, perhaps open some topics on the forum is best.
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Yes the solicitor is independent so no fears on that score thanks. We will be looking to install a treatment plant along the lines of one from Bio-pure although we will be able to tap into the rumbling drain from a plant servicing an existing cottage. I may well look to raise a question about the need for such a test in due course so thanks for that.
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I don't know what a "rumbling drain" is.

But building control will expect you to demonstrate a means of disposing of the effluent, either by some form of soakaway (above or below ground) or to a watercourse (not so easy in Scotland, but that's what we ended up with permission for) So you will need a percolation test for this.

It is prudent to understand that there is some form of viable drainage solution possible before you buy the plot, in particular the soakaway field may take up an awful lot of ground area that you may or may not have.

Again best answered by a specific question on the forum with details of the plot etc.
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Thanks Pro Dave - yes I will be asking a relevant question via the forum about this very matter so interested readers should look out for a thread entitled "soil testing ahead of purchasing a plot" for further advice and guidance.

Thanks Paul.
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