Can You Buy Council Land To Extend A Garden?

If you’re looking to extend your garden, you may be wondering if you can buy council land. In this blog post, we will discuss the potential of buying council land in the UK and how it can help you extend your garden. We will also look at what you need to consider before making any decisions.

Can You Buy Council Land To Extend A Garden?

Yes, you can buy council land to extend a garden; but there are some things to consider first.

The first thing you will need to do is find out whether the land you are interested in buying is available for sale. The best way to do this is to check with your local council or with the Land Registry for information about any land that is currently up for sale. 

You should also consider any restrictions that may be placed on the land if it has been classified as an area of special scientific interest (SSSI) or an area of outstanding natural beauty (AONB). If this is the case, then you may not be able to use the land to extend your garden. It is important to double-check these details before making an offer on the land. 

Another important factor to consider is the cost associated with purchasing the land. Depending on the size and location of the plot, the cost can vary greatly. Be sure to factor in any additional costs such as stamp duty, solicitors’ fees and any other associated costs. 

It is also worth researching whether there are any rights of access or rights of way that are attached to the land. This can affect your ability to use it for extending your garden, so it is important to investigate this before going ahead with a purchase.

That said, you should keep the following points in mind while making your offer to the local council authorities to buy land from them:

  • Council authorities are not obliged to consider each application with an intent to purchase land owned by them. This means that your offer to purchase land can easily be refused by them.
  • When you buy land from the council, there can be additional costs involved that you need to account for. These include, but are not limited to council’s services and solicitor’s fees.
  • If your intent to purchase land is successful, the process of applying to possess the land can still take up to 6 months (or more).
  • You may face certain development restrictions on the land that you buy from the council.
  • Council authorities can sell land as freehold or leasehold. This decision will lie at the council’s discretion and will depend on the circumstances on a case-to-case basis.

Once you apply to buy land from the council, in most cases, you can expect to hear from them between 5 to 7 working days with their decision. In addition to a refusal or approval, they will also indicate the name of the development officer who will be dealing with your application. 

How Do I Find Out If There Is Any Available Land To Buy From The Council?

If you’re looking to buy council land in the UK to extend your garden, the first step is to find out what is available. Fortunately, the HM Land Registry offers a great tool to help with this. They have a searchable database of all registered land and property in England and Wales. 

Through the Land Registry website, you can search for freehold and leasehold land that is available in a particular area. You can also use the advanced search function to narrow down your results even further. 

Additionally, you can use other sites such as Zoopla and Rightmove to check for potential plots of land for sale. It’s important to note that not all council-owned land is for sale, so you’ll want to make sure you are looking for the right kind of land before making an offer.

How Can I Buy Land From The Council?

If the piece of land that you are interested in buying from the council meets the eligibility criteria, you can apply to purchase it through the council’s website. You will need the following documents as you file a formal application or intent to buy:

  • proof of confirmation that the intended land area is less than 50 square metres
  • a photograph or map of the location
  • details of the purpose for which you will be using the land
  • justified explanation of how your application qualifies to meet the eligibility criteria
  • proof of your identity through documents such as a driving licence or passport

You should seek written confirmation of the intended land’s ownership with the council; even if you are sure of it. Alternatively, you can contact the Land Registry at 0300 006 0411 or the following address to confirm the ownership details of the land:

Land Registry Citizen Centre

PO Box 74


GL14 9BB

How Will My Application Be Processed For Buying Land From The Council?

The process of buying land from the council involves a series of steps that can take nearly six months to complete. However. Before filing a formal application with your local council authorities, you should first confirm that the land that you intend to purchase is owned by the council. This can be done by looking up the Government Property Finder or the HM Land Registry online. 

Once done, you can apply with an intent to buy with the local council office. Once your application is received, you can expect the following steps to be followed during the process:

  • If your application is approved, the council will share details of a fully completed application as well as inform you of the name and telephone number of the development officer who will be managing your application.
  • In the next 28 days, you can expect to receive information regarding a contact who will inform you whether or not the council has agreed to the sale of the land. You will also get to learn about how your application has been assessed against the eligibility criteria.
  • If the council authorities agree to the sale, you will be asked to pay the £ 550+ VAT fee before the application moves to the next step in the process.
  • Once your payment is through, the council will commence a 28-day consultation period.


The above discussion has not only helped to conclude that you can buy land from the council but also covered the key details necessary for you to make an offer to the council. It may just be worthwhile to do a quick cost and benefit analysis before you consider making such a purchase.


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