Legal Q&A:Can I sell part of my garden to property developers and where would I start?

I'm interested in selling part of my garden to property developers. How do I start the ball rolling?

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Question: A friend who is an estate agent says my garden is big enough for a building plot, and he thinks I should consider selling part of it for this purpose.

He has also mentioned getting planning permission. Where do I start?

Answer: Your land will probably be worth much more if you sell it with planning permission in place. Calculate how much of the land will be needed to accommodate a building plot, and how much you are prepared to sell. 

Next, employ a surveyor or architect to draw plans and apply for planning permission. Your estate agent friend may wish to market the building plot for you. 

Once planning permission is granted, instruct a lawyer to deal with the sale for you and to prepare the “transfer of part”, which will be needed to transfer the building plot to the buyer. 

This document will describe the plot you are selling and will include an accurate plan showing both the area in question and the land you are retaining. 

The document should grant rights to the buyer and reserve rights for you regarding services such as electricity, water, sewage etc. 

In addition, it should deal with access. Restrictive covenants should also be included to protect your enjoyment of the land you are retaining — for example, to prohibit nuisance, noise or illegal activity emanating from the plot. 

Before you proceed, consider carefully the effect of development taking place in relatively close proximity to the property you will be retaining.

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If you have a question for Fiona McNulty, please email or write to Legal Solutions, Homes & Property, London Evening Standard, 2 Derry Street, W8 5EE. We regret that questions cannot be answered individually, but we will try to feature them here. Fiona McNulty is a legal director in the private wealth group of Foot Anstey (

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