The next step was to find out more information about the plot as we knew that if you're the winning bidder at auction there's no going back. So.... we looked on the council's planning site & found that the site had lapsed planning permission for a 5 bedroom (3 stories at the back) mock tudor style very big house which had been granted in 2006. This was a good start as we don't want to build a house anywhere near as big. My concern was that the planners may still favour the mock tudor style & as we had visions of a very contemporary style house we needed to make sure this wouldn't be so.
We asked a local architect to meet us on the site (with permission from the vendor who lives next door) to talk things over. He pointed out the hotch potch of styles of houses in the road so, in his view, the style of the build would not be an issue. He said that we needed to clarify the boundaries but otherwise was quite up beat about the possibilities.
With that settled we paid a visit to the Auction House to look at the legal documents ie; the land registry document, local search, Southern Water search, draft transfer deeds, previous planning consents & special conditions of purchase. We found nothing to be too alarmed about, the conditions of purchase stated that a 6 foot fence should be erected within 28 days between the plot & the vendor's house & we found that a road drainage sewer runs down the east side of the length of the plot (nice!) from which your building should be 3 metres away.
So, with much talk we decided to attend the auction & take our chance!