Self-build homes

Location and acquiring land

Where can I find land to buy for a self-build project?

With space and opportunity often at a premium, it is wise to be as flexible as possible with both location and the amount of work you are willing to take on. However, avoid looking at too wide an area – find a balance between flexibility and focus.

As well as the location, size and quality of the land, it is also important to consider access, planning restrictions, available services and the environment in general.

After deciding to take the self-build route, the first step is to research and then purchase the land. Ensure there is planning permission with the land that allows your project to go ahead. Consider nearby utilities and find out about the land quality and suitability for your build.

There are a few common ways to find land for building on:
  • Internet search – there are a few land search websites available, you may need to subscribe
  • Local authority register – usually hold a record of available land. Find out more about brownfield registers
  • Local knowledge – you may know of areas which may be acquired
  • Estate agents – particularly out of town agents will be able to help
  • Auction houses
  • Press advertisements


When you are beginning your land search, it's worth having a look at the UK Government's Land Development and Disposal Plan. This plan from Homes England lists the sites that are expected to be available for development over the next 12 months.

Find out more from Homes England

Remember that there are things to consider when starting your land search which will not just have an affect on the build itself but also the ease of living in the property once complete.

  • Land location, size, quality and steepness
  • Planning restrictions
  • Access for vehicles
  • Surrounding area
  • Services 
  • View

Build Aviator's estimating service can help you plan your project by providing an accurate cost of the proposed construction. Find out more.

Purchasing land or property?

Whether you are buying a house, land or a commercial property, environmental searches and reports will give you peace of mind and the insights to make the right choices for your project.

The reports help ensure that conveyancing proceeds smoothly and that you meet the relevant industry standards.

Find out more