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Replacement dwellings

If you are looking to build your own home, you may be looking for plots with or without planning permission. What you may not be looking for, however, are sites with existing dwellings. In our experience, you would be well advised to keep an open mind and consider the replacement dwelling route.

We achieved planning permission for this contemporary dwelling in Somerset last year and replacing the existing house has been advantageous in many ways.

There are a number of reasons why achieving planning permission for your dream home may be smoother:

  • The principle of a dwelling on the site has been established and a one for one replacement is likely to be acceptable.

  • Your new home will almost certainly lead to the enhancement and upgrading of the site.

  • There will be an existing access.

  • Many councils have replacement dwelling policies. Be sure to look your Local Plan policy up, as there may be some provisos such as limiting increases in scale. Most of these policies seek to maintain housing mix and avoid the loss of smaller dwellings in an area.

There can be practical and financial advantages too:

  • Finding a plot in the area you want may be much easier as there are likely to be more options.

  • Depending on the plot and on your plans, you may be able to get permission to build your new home on another part of the site and live in the existing dwelling for the duration of the build.

  • You may be able to recycle materials from the existing house.

  • There may be existing mature trees and other landscaping.

And finally, remember that when you are looking at properties, look at the plot not the house!

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