Planning Context / Potential
The Government has demonstrated through the planning system that it is a keen supporter of the custom and self-build sector. There is recognition within national planning guidance of the growing demand from the self-build sector for improved access to opportunities to undertake self-build projects, which will include conversion of existing buildings and structures, often exhibiting innovative and ground-breaking design solutions. The recent Housing White Paper, signals the government’s continued support for custom and self-build housing and the role it can play in helping deliver housing that people want.
Over recent years a growing number of examples from across the UK of high quality conversions have captured the public imagination and inspired more and more people to become involved in realising their own ‘Grand Design’ ambitions. One-off, bespoke solutions are now increasingly gaining planning consent, even in areas often constrained by planning policy. Through the Self-Build and Custom Housebuilding Act 2015, and more recently the Housing White Paper, the Government recognises that custom build can be an affordable way to home ownership that provides an opportunity to own a bespoke, sustainably designed and high quality home.
National planning guidance encourages outstanding and innovative design and cautions local planning authorities against stifling innovation, originality and initiative. National and local planning policies also provide support for sympathetic, sustainable rural tourism enterprises as well as general support for the sustainable growth and expansion of all types of business and enterprise in rural areas, including through the conversion of existing buildings.
Some of the sites contained within this auction represent exciting development opportunities in sought after rural locations. Some comprise covered reservoirs and ancillary on-site buildings, which are now redundant on sites varying in size. The reservoirs on some of the sites are earth covered, above-ground structures that would offer strong potential for innovative conversion to alternative uses, including ‘Grand Design’ style conversion to residential or holiday accommodation use.
The sale of some of these sites represents an exceptional opportunity for self-build buyers seeking an unusual and noteworthy plot in an enviable location. Examples of other former Severn Trent covered reservoirs which have gained planning consent for conversion can be found here at http://stwreservoirs.co.uk/case-studies
Oliver is based in Bidx1London offices and manages the online auction process
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