The Land Finding Rollercoaster
The journey toward finding a plot for our eco project, that is more like a ride on a rollercoaster, takes yet another turn.
One moment we had an offer accepted, on the terms we had proposed and the next it is taken away…
After weeks of backward and forward with the vendor and plenty of time and money spent I have just had to make the call to say that we are unable to proceed.
A difficult call to make but one that was necessary and due to no fault of our own.
It has come to light that the planning permission that exists on the plot does not actually exist on the plot!
How? Well a strip of land which runs down the edge of the land in question that I thought we were purchasing does not actually belong to the vendor!
This ‘no man’s land’, which we had affectionately named it, belonged to someone else (not the vendor) and our investigation showed the building that the planning permission allowed would actually extend on to this land.
So legally this planning permission could be built out on the site without owning the other strip also.
The vendor acted surprised when I first bought this up with him but then later played it down claiming that it was ‘marginal’ and that a ‘minor amendment’ could be made to the existing planning permission to correct it. This is not the case.
I am still unsure whether he was aware of this fact throughout the whole process or genuinely did not know and has made a bad purchase himself and is unwilling to admit to it.
He offered to reduce the price but was not willing to go through the process of amending the planning, even if this were a suitable approach and solution.
So ultimately what we would have been purchasing was a piece of land without planning permission (solely on it) for the price of one with planning permission.
What we had agreed to and what we had now arrived at were 2 very different things.
Without him willing to take any further remediatory action or halve the price (as he didn’t think there was a big issue with the land) proceeding was not an option.
The Rollercoaster plummets back to earth as we all lose our stomachs!
Although disappointing as it puts our search back a couple of months, valuable lessons are learnt and it was clearly not meant to be.
We were back out straight away viewing potential sites and have a plot of a former community centre, a builder’s yard and a neglected pair of semi-detached houses to follow up on – let’s see what come of those immediate options?!
Time to get back on the Rollercoaster for another circuit!