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Choosing the Ideal Site for your Dream Home

Finding a plot of land in Surrey for a self-build project is nothing if not challenging thanks to the many planning restrictions. Yet forewarned is forearmed – understand what you’re dealing with, and you can take a more focused approach to finding the perfect plot.

New build home in Surrey

Here are the key restrictions to consider:


This prevents new properties on undeveloped land and limits the size of properties - new builds should not be materially larger than the buildings they replace. However, it’s not all doom and gloom; a strategic approach and careful planning give you scope to maximise your build’s scale.

Surrey Hills AONB and South Downs National Park

If you wish to build in the AONB or national park, your property must replace an existing building and “conserve and enhance the natural beauty” of the area, essentially limiting your property’s size and design. What’s more, the South Downs National Park is one of the UK’s six Dark Sky Reserves which restricts extensive glazing and roof lanterns.

Finding the idea site for your dream home

Conservation Areas

Here, you must prove that your development will be neutral or positive for the local environment.

Agricultural Land

An agricultural plot outside the AONB or National Park offers more opportunities. Converting existing buildings is a permitted development right, making this an easier, faster approach than razing everything to the ground and starting again.

In each case, a strategic approach delivers the best results. However, this is not fast – finding a plot and getting the right permissions can take a while, but the result is well worth the wait.

Alternative Options

Building in a town or village is a far simpler option. Restrictions are fewer and approvals are faster, especially if your proposed property has a more traditional design. The easiest option? Find a property from the 50s, 60s or 70s and use that site. Plots with previous commercial use, such as factories or offices, also provide opportunities if you can prove the plot has no current commercial use.

The ideal site for your dream home

If you’re searching for the perfect plot and need a local expert, get in touch with Nye Saunders for a free consultation. We’d be delighted to hear your plans and see if we could help.

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