Can You Buy Wasteland From The Council?

If you are wondering whether or not you can buy wasteland from your local council authority, you will find the answer to your question in the following blog post. Additionally, we will also discuss the process of applying to buy land from the council, how to submit an application for buying wasteland and review the costs involved.

Can You Buy Wasteland From The Council?

Yes, you can buy a plot of wasteland from the council. However, it is not necessary that the plot of the wasteland that you are interested in buying from the council would be available for sale.

Councils, generally tend to favour applications from residents to buy a wasteland from them if the residents are able to convince them of either of the following:

  • the piece of wasteland is currently surplus or redundant
  • the council does not intend to bring it back to use
  • it can be put to better economic use
  • there will be a greater community benefit 

Applications for buying a wasteland from the council are usually made online through the local council’s website. Alternatively, one can also post a handwritten application to their local council office.

If someone intends to buy a wasteland from the council, they will not only need to consider the cost of the land but other costs as well such as: 

  • solicitor’s and valuator’s fees 
  • an inspection of the land 
  • consideration of restrictive covenants 
  • council’s processing charges a report on policies and historical background 

Payment of additional fees (excluding the cost of the land) will still not guarantee the sale of the land and the amount will be non-refundable.

In addition to this, planning consent will be required regarding the development of the land, fencing or adding a boundary to it. 

One should also keep in mind that the council’s decision on the sale of the wasteland is not co-related to the resident’s intent on the usage of the land. This means that even though the council may approve the same wasteland to residents, they may disapprove of how they intend to use it. 

Under such circumstances, you would have to reconsider the usage of the wasteland according to permissible usage approved by the council.

How Can You Apply For Buying Wasteland From The Council?

You can apply to buy wasteland from the council through their website, by sending an email or posting a handwritten application to them.

Before you apply for buying wasteland from the council, you will need the following documents for submission:

  • 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

It is also advisable to confirm that the intended land is owned by the council. You can do this by looking up the Government Property Finder or the HM Land Registry online, calling the Land Registry at 0300 006 0411 or writing to them at the following address:

Land Registry Citizen Centre

PO Box 74


GL14 9BB

What Happens After You Apply To Buy Wasteland From The Council?

Once you file an application and the required documents with the local council the following steps will be followed as your application is reviewed:

  • If the council is satisfied with the documents you provide and your application meets the desired criteria, your application will be approved. 
  • Once approved, your application will be processed to the next stage at which the council will share the name and telephone number of the development officer who will be managing your application.
  • 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.
  • If your application is not approved, you will still be contacted by the council to ask you for additional documents (if your submission is incomplete or lacks the required details). They will also provide you with the name of a contact who will coordinate with you. 
  • There is also a chance that your application is rejected and the council simply informs you how your application has been assessed against the eligibility criteria and where it has not met the requirements essential to buy wasteland from the council.


The above discussion helps to conclude that it is possible to buy wasteland from the council but it is not necessary that the piece of land that you are interested in is up for sale. Additionally, you would need approval from the council authorities regarding the intended use of the wasteland that you buy from them.


Council-owned amenity land – purchase enquiries – Dartford Borough Council

Challenging the government to sell land or property – GOV.UK