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Development Land Opportunities in Manchester: Your Comprehensive Guide

Development Land Opportunities in Manchester

Development Land Opportunities in Manchester: Your Comprehensive Guide

Development Land Opportunities in Manchester  Development Land Opportunities in Manchester  Development Land Opportunities in Manchester

Manchester, with its burgeoning economy and ongoing urban revitalisation, has emerged as a fertile ground for property development. The city is witnessing an influx of exciting projects slated for 2023, ranging from residential blocks, commercial spaces, to world-class venues and eateries. 

Notable developments include the Co-op Live arena, a 23,500-capacity venue poised to open its doors in December 2023, and the next phase of the Mayfield regeneration among others.

Investors scouting the UK for prime property investment locations in 2023 are finding Manchester to be a lucrative choice. The city’s transformation over the past decades has positioned it as a key property investment hub, with the housing market particularly catching the eye of investors.

The momentum in construction and development is strongly upheld, as evidenced by Deloitte’s 2023 Manchester Crane Survey. The survey spotlighted a successful year of construction and development across Manchester and Salford, with a commendable tally of 25 new construction projects initiated in 2022, spanning residential, office, and leisure schemes.

At Aligned Property Services, we are helping to guide new and seasoned property developers through the dynamic landscape of Development Land Opportunities in Manchester. 

This guide was created to offer a well-rounded understanding of Development Land in Manchester, from the basics, the acquisition process, utilisation, and the legal and ownership aspects. 


Basics of Development Land in the UK

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The journey into property development begins with a clear understanding of what it entails, particularly in the UK’s vibrant property market. Property development involves transforming land or existing buildings into new homes, commercial spaces, or a mix of both. This transformation can take the form of major refurbishment works, conversions, or ground-up developments which include constructing apartment blocks, large housing estates, and industrial structures.

Starting a property development project in the UK requires a solid team of property professionals. The collaboration among architects, planners, builders, and legal advisors is crucial to navigate the complexities and ensure the success of the project. Before diving into a property development project, it’s essential to grasp the process fully, be aware of the risks involved as well as the potential benefits.


Finding development land in the UK is the stepping stone to kickstart your property development project. Acquiring land can be done directly from owners or through agents, the latter being a common approach. It’s advisable to engage a professional team to guide you through the process of finding and acquiring development land, ensuring you are well-informed and prepared for the steps ahead.

We are well-positioned to assist in this area. Along with spearheading our own local developments in Manchester, we extend our expertise to support both new and seasoned developers on their projects. Over the years, we’ve cultivated a trusted network of professionals, an asset that’s invaluable in this industry. The journey to assemble such a skilled team wasn’t without its challenges, but it has given us a reliable team of experts that we collaborate with on all our developments.


Buying and Pricing of Development Land

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Entering the realm of property development begins with understanding how to acquire the right piece of land. The UK, with its rising population projected to increase from 63 million to 74 million over the next 25 years, has a growing demand for housing and commercial spaces, making land a valuable asset.


How do I buy land in the UK?

To buy land in the UK, you can employ various methods:

  • Agents: Engaging a real estate agent is a common way to identify and purchase development land.
  • Auction: Lands available for auction can be a chance to grab a good deal.
  • Property Portals: Platforms like Rightmove and Zoopla list lands available for sale.
  • Site Finding Software: Tools like Nimbus and Landinsight can help in identifying potential land for development.

Specialist solicitors come into play once a price is agreed upon, ensuring all legalities are handled correctly.


How do I buy land to build a house in the UK?

Building your dream house or investment starts with finding the right plot. Here are some steps to guide you:

  • Identify the Type of Land: Two main types of land are available in the UK – brownfield land (previously developed) and greenfield land (undeveloped).
  • Research: Look for land in desired locations using agents, property portals, or local council listings.
  • Check Planning Permission: Ensure the land has the necessary planning permissions or that you can obtain them before purchase.


How much does it cost to buy land in the UK?

The cost of land varies significantly across different regions of the UK. Some recent examples include:

  • Land in Weymouth and Portland priced at £2,200,000.
  • Land in Wiltshire priced at £1,920,000.
  • 10 acres of land in Suffolk, with planning for 120 new houses, sold for £3.8 million, equating to £380,000 per acre.

The price is often linked to the Gross Development Value (GDV), which is a crucial valuation metric used by investors and property developers. GDV represents the projected value of a property development once it is completed.

The formula to calculate GDV can vary slightly, but generally, it is determined by deducting the costs associated with land acquisition, construction, fees, and transactions from the total expected value of the development. 

Understanding GDV is central to assessing the financial feasibility of a property development project, and it plays a vital role in decision-making and project evaluation.


Utilising Development Land

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Can I buy land in the UK and build on it?

Yes, you can buy land in the UK and build on it. However, you need to ensure the land has the necessary planning permissions or that you can obtain them before starting any construction.

How much land do you need to build a house in the UK?

The amount of land you need to build a house in the UK can vary based on the design and size of the house. Generally, a plot of about 0.1 to 0.2 acres may suffice for a detached house, but it’s advisable to consult with a professional to understand the specific requirements for your project.

How many houses can fit on 1 acre in the UK?

The number of houses that can fit on 1 acre of land in the UK largely depends on the design and size of the houses, as well as local zoning and planning regulations. It’s essential to check with the local planning department to understand the density limits and other guidelines.

Is it cheaper to buy land and build a house in the UK?

Buying land and building a house can sometimes be more cost-effective compared to buying a pre-built home, especially if you manage the construction process efficiently. However, it comes with its challenges like securing planning permission and managing construction.

How to make money from 2 acres of land in the UK?

There are several ways to make money from 2 acres of land in the UK. You could:

  • Develop residential or commercial properties for sale or rent.
  • Lease the land for agriculture, solar farms, or other uses.
  • Host events or set up recreational facilities.

Each of these options comes with its own set of considerations, like the cost, planning permissions, and the local market demand.


Living and Restrictions on Development Land

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Can I live in a motorhome on my own land in the UK?

Yes, you can live in a motorhome on your own land in the UK, but there are some conditions. You’re allowed to live in a motorhome on your land for up to 28 days within a year without needing planning permission, as long as you don’t hook up to residential services like mains utilities (gas, electricity, and water) and sewage

However, if you wish to live in it permanently, you would need to acquire planning permission.

Can foreigners own land in the UK?

Absolutely! Foreigners and non-residents can buy property in the UK as there are no legal restrictions against it . It’s a straightforward process, but having a financial history in the UK might simplify things if you’re planning to apply for a mortgage. The process of buying property in the UK typically takes about 2 to 3 months.

Can a non-resident buy land in the UK?

Yes, non-residents can also buy land in the UK. The rules for foreigners and non-residents are the same when it comes to owning property in the UK. You don’t even need to be a British citizen or have a visa solely for buying property, although having a visa is necessary if you plan to live in the property you buy.


Land Ownership and Legalities

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Is the UK Land Registry public?

The UK Land Registry is a public body that keeps a record of land ownership and transactions. However, access to some detailed information might require a fee.

How do I find out who owns land in the UK?

You can find out who owns a piece of land in the UK by checking the UK Land Registry. There might be a small fee to access the ownership information.

How do I find unclaimed land in the UK?

Finding unclaimed land can be a bit tricky. You would need to do some research, possibly with the help of a professional, to identify unclaimed lands. Checking local land registry records, contacting local authorities, or consulting with a legal professional can be good starting points.

Do you pay tax on land you own in the UK?

Yes, landowners in the UK are subject to various taxes. Here are some of them:

Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT): When you buy a property or land in the UK, you might need to pay Stamp Duty Land Tax. The rate of SDLT depends on the price of the property, and whether it’s your first home or not. Before the pandemic, a 2% charge was applied on property purchases above £125,000. However, a stamp duty cut was announced, effective from 23 September 2022 until 31 March 2025, increasing the residential nil-rate tax threshold from £125,000 to £250,000 for properties purchased within this period.

If it’s your first home, there’s no stamp duty on properties costing less than £300,000. For properties valued between £300,000 and £500,000, only the amount above £300,000 is taxed, at a rate of 5%.

Capital Gains Tax (CGT): When you sell a property and make a profit, you may need to pay Capital Gains Tax. The annual tax-free allowance for CGT is £12,300, although this allowance is set to decrease to £6,000 from April 2023, and then to £3,000 from April 2024.

Annual Tax on Enveloped Dwellings (ATED): This tax applies mainly to companies that own UK residential property valued at more than £500,000. The tax amount ranges from £3,700 to £236,250 per annum.

These taxes can significantly impact the cost and profitability of owning land or property in the UK, so it’s essential to factor them into your financial planning.



Development Land Opportunities in Manchester Development Land Opportunities in Manchester Development Land Opportunities in Manchester

Venturing into the world of property development, especially in a flourishing city like Manchester, can be an exciting and rewarding experience. However, it comes with its share of challenges and considerations, from finding the right piece of land to understanding the legal and financial aspects involved.

This guide aimed to shed light on the various aspects of Development Land in Manchester, providing a well-rounded understanding to help you make informed decisions. Whether it’s the basics of property development, the process of acquiring land, understanding the costs involved, or the legal and ownership aspects, we touched on key areas to equip you for success in your property development journey.

Aligned Property Services is here to assist you every step of the way. With a dedicated team of seasoned professionals and a trusted network of experts, we offer tailored solutions to meet your property development needs. Whether you are a seasoned developer or just starting out, we are committed to ensuring your property development projects in Manchester and beyond are successful.

Embarking on a property development project can be a big step, but with the right guidance and support, it’s a step towards a lucrative and fulfilling venture. Reach out to us for personalised guidance and support in navigating the Manchester development land landscape, ensuring your visions transform into tangible success.


More Reading / Resources

Feel free to delve into these resources for a deeper understanding of the development landscape in Manchester and to explore more about the exciting opportunities awaiting in the city.

  1. Co-op Live arena set to open in December 2023 – Manchester Evening News
  2. Next phase of Mayfield regeneration – Manchester City Council
  3. New Towers, Groundbreaking Arenas, and Homes Developed for 2023 – The Business Desk
  4. Manchester Tipped as Top City to Invest in Property in 2023 – Property Reporter
  5. Deloitte’s 2023 Manchester Crane Survey – Salboy

Keep your eye out for more of our resource articles and don’t hesitate to contact us for chat about your ideas and projects.

Contact Tony or Paige


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Tony Houlihan
Founder & Director at Aligned Property Services | + posts

With a background in Procurement and a passion for property, Tony has been actively involved in the property sector since 2013. He took the leap in 2018 to focus on property development and has since developed over 25 homes, both new builds and conversions, across the North West.

Tonys’ goal is to make property easier for everyone, by connecting people with the right experts and knowledge to achieve their property goals, be that a bit of surplus income on the side or a full time career in their chosen area.

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