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New Here And Looking For Some Good Advice For A 10 Year Plan.


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#1 RuralGuy83

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Posted 30 December 2015 - 12:08 AM

Introduction

So where can I begin. I currently live in Lincolnshire in the Wolds but it has lost its sense of adventure and I feel the need to move to some where more desolate to forfill my dream of a homestead life.

My family consists of my parents who are divorced. My Mum lives with my Step-Dad and my Dad lives with my 2 Brothers. My 2 Brothers are severely disabled. 1 has Schizophrenia and the other has Multiple Personality Disorder. They are social-degenerates but I tend not to use that word around them. I would say I am a social degenerate myself but I am a bit more fortunate in the lottery of life.

My parents are 10 years from the retirement stage of life and I don't want to put them in a care home because of a couple reasons. 1. We can't afford it, 2. The NHS is underfunded, 3. My Brothers need some form of care and 4. It would make my Parents sad.

The alternative is to buy 1-2 acres of land, put a caravan house trailer on it and try and get planning permission for 2 granny flats and a 3-4 bedroom house.

I am fully prepared to make the sacrifices I need to make in order to secure my family's future and give them a foundation where they don't need to worry about tomorrow.

The plot & questions

So I was wondering if someone could answer these questions.

1. What are the planning authorities and building regulations like in: Wales? Scotland? and the Northern Pennies England?
2. Is there any chance I can stick a off-grid caravan on some field and try and get planning permission?
3. Does anyone know is the agenda 21 regulations will start to kick in soon since the World Government thing was passed in Paris recently?

Ideally what I am looking for is a 1-2 acre plot next to a country lane or something. I am prepared to go fully off-grid if need be but if I can get a few home comforts I would be very happy.

i'm aware of the prices for such a plot but I could do with a education on the types of plots which are available? Is there any online sources to learn about different plots?

The Build

I am looking at going for a simple timber frame bungalow build or a eco-earthship build for the main house as well as 2 granny flat bungalows which are vastly separated to give my parents some privacy from each other because they do annoy each other a lot.

In a ideal world I would like to build a south facing earthship that is dug into a hill side. Give it two floors. One below ground with sky lights and the other above ground behind the greenhouse. A good example is this one here. Have a peek. Link is safe since I checked on my website scanner.

https://offthegridon...dies/earthship/

By the same means I would also do something similar for the two granny flats.

If I am unable to do this however I would prefer to go for either some timber frame cookie cutter pre-made houses which can be seen on this website:

http://www.scotframe.co.uk/


The Finance

So where it stands my current house is worth about £85,000 at the moment. I currently save around £10000 each year on a income of £15,000 after taxes. Yes I'm a super saver (flex's his muscles, ultra scrooge mode).
I also get a few benefits since I do have a disability myself but im at a point in my life where I am able too challenge my disability head on.

I am retraining at the moment be to be a HGV driver because I want to explore the country and be on myself while I work because other jobs where I have been around people have lead to myself being sectioned by the mental health act. So the jobs I have to do are ones where I work on myself.

I should be able to do 70 hours a week while driving and sleeping in the Lorry Cab I've been told without health & safety bothering me. Wages seem to be around £11 a hour at the moment so by the time I get my Cat C+E they might even be higher. This will make me about £15,000 better off and allow me to put £25,000 in my savings each year.

Hopefully I can be dole-free in a year or two :D. Just be assured that as a genuine disabled person I don't waste welfare on sky tv, booze and fags. I use as it is meant to be used. Majority of the benefits I have received have gone on training to get me into work.

With that in mind I think its safe to say I will be able to afford a plot in the future if I get on my bike and knuckle down with some hard graft.

A good chunk of the finance is going to come from my Parents who want a bungalow building each and if I play my cards right I may be able to secure their wishes.

Conclusion

So if I am able to centralize the family unit to 1 plot where my 2 brothers can care for my parents and perhaps hold down part time jobs I can be free to be the bread winner of the family and provide the extra income my family needs. They both have decent pensions but I am skeptical of the current economy at the moment and there have been times when private pensions have basically been devalued.

My older Brother also has a Son who is a Brick Layer. He currently has 3 young children and if the possibility rises where they need caring so my Brothers Son and his wife can work full time I think this universal plot idea will serve as a good investment.

............ So let me know what you think.

Edited by RuralGuy83, 30 December 2015 - 12:14 AM.


#2 joiner

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Posted 30 December 2015 - 06:39 AM

:) Welcome, but...

To be brutally honest? Even as a "10 year plan", dream on.

You want to live off-grid in a "rural" (= remote-ish) location and appear to expect everyone living with you to get either part- or full-time jobs whilst caring for the other half of the family in order to help fund the life-style?

You live in a house 'worth' £85,000, earn £15,000 a year out of which you save £10,000?

Self-build is uncertain at the best of times, and these times are anything but the best with no immediate prospect of improvement.

Without being unkind, given the economic outlook and your own and your family's collective disadvantages (and I admire your collective fortitude and courage) you are being totally unrealistic. You need a reality check, my friend. ;)

Edited by joiner, 30 December 2015 - 06:46 AM.


#3 recoveringacademic

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Posted 30 December 2015 - 07:15 AM

Hello, and welcome.
My response can be summarised in one word: focus.

You have been very open about a range of issues - perhaps too open about some. And you appear to have the confidence to dream a little. Nothing wrong with that.

Look at the issues you list, and, starting with your own needs first, sort those out one by one. And when you've successfully done that, reassess the situation in relation to the other people in your life.

Set yourself short, measurable, realistic and time-bound (SMART) things to achieve each day, month, year (or whatever), and focus on your successes.

Read widely. Just a quick look at some of the blogs on here will do two things: make you think, help you plan. And with luck and determination on your part, reading will give you a clearer window into the issues for which you must prepare.
Good luck.
Ian

#4 Nickfromwales

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Posted 30 December 2015 - 09:29 AM

Hi, and welcome.
That's a LOT to achieve on your 'budget'. You'll be far better off looking for a sensible plot with PP which would accommodate one large property and build it with timber, above ground, and possibly a granny annex. I don't think your mini-estate can be easily built and paid for tbh.
You can easily spend £10,s / £20's of thousands of pounds on groundwork to 'bury' a house into a hillside, so that imho is money wasted on a feature you simply don't need. Focus on your needs first, and if budget allows then add the trimmings.
I admire your determination and ethos, but a few reality checks need to be established in order to allow you to understand about feasibility and practicality before moving any further.
Youll get free, impartial and PRACTICAL advice here by the bucketload, but no one here will allow you to be led up the garden path so rest assured you'll be told as it is, warts and all but sometimes that'll bring you back to earth with a bit of a bump. ;)
Jump on the Internet and start with a search on plots with PP or OPP and see how much that's going to absorb first. If you own and sold your house for ~£85k, you'd be lucky to get the plot with that alone, for 3 dwellings :unsure: but at least a plot can be found with reasonable access to services, or maybe buy an existing property in need of extensive works and remodel it, maybe one with a large double garage which you can convert? At least then you'd be able to get a mortgage.
Good luck, and keep the questions coming :)

Regards, Nick.

#5 ProDave

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Posted 30 December 2015 - 09:47 AM

If you are really open to living anywhere and want to be remote and want lots of land, the look seriously at the Scottish Highlands where I am.

Unlike many other parts of the UK, there are always building plots for sale up here. Start by looking here http://www.hspc.co.u...searchtype=form

This one caught my eye, 1.7 acres for £35K http://www.hspc.co.u...Rogart-IV28-3YD



Concentrate on finding a large site, and building a large home for your complicated family. Only after that is done think about playing with things like off grid power supply etc.

If you want more than one building on a single plot, then a way around that that a lot of people do up here is build a main house, then a separate large garage with accommodation above it. Providing the site is large enough the planners seem happy with that. then of course people later convert the actual garages into living space....

Edited by ProDave, 30 December 2015 - 11:21 AM.


#6 Nickfromwales

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Posted 30 December 2015 - 10:06 AM

Is there a time constraint for such retrospective conversions ?
Regards, Nick.

#7 temp

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Posted 30 December 2015 - 10:10 AM

Don't underestimate the difficulty of getting planning permission..

Quote

The alternative is to buy 1-2 acres of land, put a caravan house trailer on it and try and get planning permission for 2 granny flats and a 3-4 bedroom house.

You might get away with parking a caravan on the site but you would need planning permission to actually live in it (just as travellers do). Once you get permission for the house you can claim the caravan is temporary accommodation for building workers. If other people (non building workers) want to live you could apply for temporary planning permission, which is usually granted, although it might be harder if you had a history of living on the site illegally.

Getting planning permission for houses on agricultural land is difficult in a lot of areas. Two granny flats and a house on 1-2 acres could also be considered under development. Depends what part of the country you want. Two acres is just over a hectare and average UK housing density is 42 houses per hectare. It's not impossible to get planning permission for what you want but you might have to looks for somewhere remote which may not have the public services you will need as your extended family gets older.

Recommended reading: How to find and buy a building plot by Roy Speer and others. Look for latest addition.

#8 ferdinand

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Posted 30 December 2015 - 10:11 AM

As with the others commenters, I admire your desire to plan. I think this could work over time, but you will have to be willing to compromise on all sorts of things.My comments:

1 - The tax efficient way to do this is to do a house on a large plot and build in your garden for the other two. No cgt.

2 - Perhaps make it such that the 3 elements are suitable separate houses, so you end up owning 3 together. Apart from the benefits when you come to sell, your family members may be separate households with discounts and benefits each. There may be costs such as 3 lots of Council tax etc, 3 lots of services etc.

3 - You are not going to be able to be choosy about your area, unless something falls in your lap. You also need to be somewhere with lorry work freely available and cheap sites. East Midlands is good (Northampton up to Sheffield near the M1), as I imagine is somewhere like Crewe or bits of Lancashire.

4 - I think you may need to go for something convertible (ie brownfield or disused industrial wreck) but without planning permission yet, as someone who has got PP will take most of the planning uplift. That means you need to develop the expertise to assess what will get permission to cut your risk, or have a sympathetic professional to hand.

5 - I am not sure that you need 2 acres. 0.5-1 might be enough. I think urban fringe near a main motorway route in a logistics area may be better than middle-of-nowhere.

6 - I can see this working in a defunct pub, even a defunct urban pub that you turn into a small stack of flats. I can see it working on the site of an ex-industrial or storage building or bungalow-on-large-plot that has gone far enough to scare most people. In the 1970s you would have done it in a falling-down manor house, but now in most of the country you would be buried by bureaucrats. I wonder if a defunct public sector building such as a Doctor's Surgery would be convertible, since money ahs been poured into NHS facilities like water for some time? There is one near here built new around 1990 which sold for £100k, and was about 4000sqft. Or a former (failed?) rural business premises (garden centre?) where someone lived on site. Ideally you will have saved some cash and can buy from the liquidator rapidly.

7 - Auctions.

8 - It will take 3-4 years to build up your lorry career after you have passed your test. Up to that point you will probably be in minimum wage - *if* they aren't scared off by your disability. Do you need to make sure you have space and precedent to park a lorry?

9 - Finally, your timescales let you look for areas that will improve over time. Take a careful look at the route where HS2 is going. That will be worth 20-30% on sale value in some places over 2 decades.

Ferdinand

Edited by ferdinand, 30 December 2015 - 10:24 AM.


#9 jsharris

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Posted 30 December 2015 - 10:11 AM

Welcome to the forum. I can have a stab at answering some of your questions and relating how planning works generally (bear in mind that there are relatively minor differences between England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland). I'm not going to comment of the issues surrounding making a large extended family dwelling work, as I simply have no experience of that.


View PostRuralGuy83, on 30 December 2015 - 12:08 AM, said:

1. What are the planning authorities and building regulations like in: Wales? Scotland? and the Northern Pennies England?

In general, there is a predisposition against any development in open countryside in all parts of the UK, with only a very few exceptions. All parts of the UK have land designations and generally you can only build on land that falls inside a defined development boundary. There are some regional differences, but in general it is safe to assume that you face a massive uphill battle in trying to build on a bit of open countryside, even if that bit of countryside is adjacent to a defined sustainable (in planning terms) community.



View PostRuralGuy83, on 30 December 2015 - 12:08 AM, said:

2. Is there any chance I can stick a off-grid caravan on some field and try and get planning permission?

The chance of getting planning permission to do this is exceedingly small, unless you have a pressing requirement to be on land from which you are making a living (which means a plot of land larger than just a few acres). Even then the chances are that the local authority will consider the caravan on such a site in the same way as they look at traveller encampments and seek enforcement action to get the caravan etc removed. If you can find land that already has permission for a caravan with all year around occupation (holiday caravan sites more often than not do not have permission for all year around living) then you face the struggle of trying to persuade the planners to grant permission for permanent dwellings. Local authorities are very well aware that putting a caravan on land is often the first step towards seeking permission to build a house there, so will be very unlikely to grant permission for one.


View PostRuralGuy83, on 30 December 2015 - 12:08 AM, said:

3. Does anyone know is the agenda 21 regulations will start to kick in soon since the World Government thing was passed in Paris recently?

Agenda 21 is not a regulation, it is a voluntary and non-binding principle regarding sustainable development. In the UK sustainable development to meet housing need has been a part of planning policy and guidance for many years, so arguably the UK already meets the spirit of Agenda 21.

View PostRuralGuy83, on 30 December 2015 - 12:08 AM, said:

Ideally what I am looking for is a 1-2 acre plot next to a country lane or something. I am prepared to go fully off-grid if need be but if I can get a few home comforts I would be very happy.

i'm aware of the prices for such a plot but I could do with a education on the types of plots which are available? Is there any online sources to learn about different plots?


There are hundreds, perhaps thousands, of people in the UK looking for such a plot. It is pretty much most self-builders dream plot. As a consequence such plots are both very, very hard to find and very expensive, as there is huge demand for them from people with enough money to push the price up. At a rough guess, you're looking at around £500k to more than £1M per acre for a rural building plot like this, perhaps more if it is in a very desirable country location.

The best on-line resource for plot hunting I found was Right Move, but it is awkward to use when looking for building plots, because often they are badly described in terms of the approved development land use.

Personally, I think that, given your very limited budget, you might be better looking at a former industrial site, or other brownfield area. It's generally easier to get planning permission on small brownfield sites (but be aware that developers will be bidding for sites around 2 acres or so). There's a lot of homework to do with any potential plot, and for brownfield sites you usually have to go through some potentially time consuming and costly steps to both prove that the site is no longer viable for industrial use and that it is free from contamination and therefore suitable for residential use.

You've mentioned being off-grid a couple of times. As far as planning is concerned this is not a supportive point and may even go against any proposal. Wind generation in particular is viewed by many local authorities with concern, because of noise nuisance and intrusion on the landscape, for example. You also need to be aware that "sustainable" in planning terms. is very different from the use of the same word in ecological terms. Sustainable in the context of planning and land use means that a community is large enough and had the appropriate level of services and facilities, to be classed as a sustainable community. This means having adequate local shops, schools, recreational areas, employment opportunities, transport links etc needed to allow the community to sustain itself.

Edited by jsharris, 30 December 2015 - 10:14 AM.
typos


#10 ferdinand

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Posted 30 December 2015 - 10:15 AM

View Posttemp, on 30 December 2015 - 10:10 AM, said:

Don't underestimate the difficulty of getting planning permission..



You might get away with parking a caravan on the site but you would need planning permission to actually live in it (just as travellers do). Once you get permission for the house you can claim the caravan is temporary accommodation for building workers. If other people (non building workers) want to live you could apply for temporary planning permission, which is usually granted, although it might be harder if you had a history of living on the site illegally.

Getting planning permission for houses on agricultural land is difficult in a lot of areas. Two granny flats and a house on 1-2 acres could also be considered under development. Depends what part of the country you want. Two acres is just over a hectare and average UK housing density is 42 houses per hectare. It's not impossible to get planning permission for what you want but you might have to looks for somewhere remote which may not have the public services you will need as your extended family gets older.

Recommended reading: How to find and buy a building plot by Roy Speer and others. Look for latest addition.

Can you cite em a source for that 42 per hectare figure?

I though the Prescott figure was more like 30, even in quite urban areas.

Thanks

Ferdinand

#11 jsharris

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Posted 30 December 2015 - 10:24 AM

42 per hectare is the target density for new developments here, but it has been reduced for plots where there are particular difficulties (it was recently reduced to 28 per hectare for a development on a sloping site nearby, for example).

This is, AFAIK, an English bit of planning guidance and things may well be more relaxed in other parts of the UK. I believe it is also the urban housing density target, so applies to medium to large developments within a sustainable community.

#12 ferdinand

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Posted 30 December 2015 - 10:37 AM

View Postjsharris, on 30 December 2015 - 10:24 AM, said:

42 per hectare is the target density for new developments here, but it has been reduced for plots where there are particular difficulties (it was recently reduced to 28 per hectare for a development on a sloping site nearby, for example).

This is, AFAIK, an English bit of planning guidance and things may well be more relaxed in other parts of the UK. I believe it is also the urban housing density target, so applies to medium to large developments within a sustainable community.

Interesting to know whether that is gross or net.

A 1 hectare site will have 0.81 hectares of actual housing (1 * 0.9 for open space * 0.9 for roads etc), and that is the difference between 42 and 34.

I suspect that substituting those figures is one of the games played by big developers buying land. A nice little extra 20% margin.

Ferdinand

Edited by joiner, 30 December 2015 - 10:54 AM.


#13 ferdinand

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Posted 30 December 2015 - 10:43 AM

Land prices are hugely variable and it's a bit lot of a lottery.

Here's 2 acres for £400k with permission to build 24 houses around 5-10 miles from me.

I think they will be lucky to get half of that.

http://www.rightmove...y-50577922.html

Ferdinand

Edited by ferdinand, 30 December 2015 - 10:46 AM.


#14 jsharris

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Posted 30 December 2015 - 11:11 AM

View Postferdinand, on 30 December 2015 - 10:43 AM, said:

Land prices are hugely variable and it's a bit lot of a lottery.

Here's 2 acres for £400k with permission to build 24 houses around 5-10 miles from me.

I think they will be lucky to get half of that.

http://www.rightmove...y-50577922.html

Ferdinand

You're probably right. At a guess there's around £300k to £500k on top of the purchase price in costs to get to bare building plots, by the time the concrete's been broken up and shifted, the contamination testing has been completed and the S.106 etc payments made.

#15 ProDave

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Posted 30 December 2015 - 11:19 AM

View PostNickfromwales, on 30 December 2015 - 10:06 AM, said:

Is there a time constraint for such retrospective conversions ?
Regards, Nick.
I don't think so.

I wired a large house (and it's garage and granny flat) a few years ago. The owner is already thinking of another accommodation block for another family member and the planners have informally indicated that would be no problem as long as it's all under the same ownership.

Looking at the "down south" costs, that 1.7 acres up here for £40K looks like a bargain.

#16 temp

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Posted 30 December 2015 - 11:35 AM

View Postferdinand, on 30 December 2015 - 10:15 AM, said:

Can you cite em a source for that 42 per hectare figure?

Was from here (2006)...

http://www.insidehou...623.035-037.pdf

"Recent figures show that the average housing density in England is 42 dwellings per hectare, a level which Kate Gordon, planning officer at the Campaign to Protect Rural England, says is too low."



#17 doofaloofa

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Posted 30 December 2015 - 12:53 PM

Start taking holidays in places you fancy

Invest in a camper van or a good tent

I would definitely live in an area for a good while, a year at least, before committing to buying there

#18 ferdinand

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Posted 30 December 2015 - 02:35 PM

View Postjsharris, on 30 December 2015 - 11:11 AM, said:

You're probably right. At a guess there's around £300k to £500k on top of the purchase price in costs to get to bare building plots, by the time the concrete's been broken up and shifted, the contamination testing has been completed and the S.106 etc payments made.

There's also 250k or so (say 10%) off the total sale value because the affordable percentage is 20%, and the average price of those houses for sale will be about £100-120k on a good day. Even with build costs of 60-65k each there's nowhere for the necessary 10-20% profit - even say 15k per house - to come from.

And it is outline - so it will be another 25-40k to get detailed permission, and it may not have been Phase 2 investigated for contamniation. And there's £100k in cash payments for the S106 on top.

And the PP runs out in May 2016 :-).

I predict renegotiation of the S106 agreement to about 10% affordable and half the cash, and it will still be tight.

Edited by ferdinand, 30 December 2015 - 02:40 PM.


#19 ProDave

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Posted 30 December 2015 - 04:07 PM

View Postdoofaloofa, on 30 December 2015 - 12:53 PM, said:

Start taking holidays in places you fancy

Invest in a camper van or a good tent

I would definitely live in an area for a good while, a year at least, before committing to buying there
That's good advice.

I had never lived in the Highlands when we made the bold decision in 2002 to up sticks from the south and move up here. But I had holidayed in the Highlands almost every year for the previous 20 years, averaging 3 or 4 weeks a year in the Highlands, so had probably spent at least a cumulative year on holiday up here before deciding to move.

#20 stones

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Posted 30 December 2015 - 04:58 PM

+1 on that. We spent 5 months up here last winter before making the decision we wanted to come up permanently. We had previously been on holiday here but a very different experience. Our reasoning was if we could live through the worst a winter could throw at us, we would be content when (or should that be if) we ever see any good weather.

In many ways the climate/weather was secondary to our decision. What was key to us was community and quality of life and that's something you will only be able to get a feel for by spending a reasonable amount of time in the area.