Planning red flags
If you are looking to buy a site without Outline Planning Approval then it is essential to first check the area planning regulations for zoning and for things like a locals-only requirement in ROI – not an issue in NI.
Pre-planning meetings can often provide an insight as to whether a potential site will be approved or what restrictions might be imposed if granted; however bear in mind that this is an informal meeting and provides no guarantees. The only sure way to find out whether a planning application will be successful is to lodge an application.
Things that will affect planning permission and the overall viability of the site include whether or not it is sloping, sheltered, narrow or presents difficult soil conditions including underground water courses.
Flood prone areas should not be built on. Check if there is any contamination on the site (brownfield site) and also examine potential environmental issues such as whether the site may be affected by EU nature laws, or impacts upon protected areas such as areas of outstanding natural beauty or Natura 2000 areas.