Looking at old applications will also give you the names of some local architects - although if they only do mini mansions that could be tricky.
Another option might be looking at system built houses where you can go to a company who will do everything apart from the foundations. Fancy ones are germans like huff but there are other more traditional ones including oak frame people.
I think it is important that you investigate costs and finance very early on. You need cash to build. Ecological building soc are one of the few lenders who will help with new build but borrowing is tricky. A friend of mine designed a house for some self builders and everything had to.come.from b&q. The budget came out at about 70k but they did a lot of hands on work. Getting builders and designers in you could easily be more than double... And a bit more again if you have lavish taste!!
First thing I would do is look up on your councils website the planning applications for the other developed plots as from that you will be able to see what planning policies were applied to the decision and how the owners circumvented any objections etc.
I'm not a planner or an architect but could you start by looking at your local authority's documents on development (called, I think, local development framework)? They give general rules for what the LA will consider. If your LA planning dept has a drop-in session, you could get some informal advice from the planners about your idea and will have a much better idea of whether it is feasible. Take along as much supporting evidence as possible - photos of the plots that have been developed, when that happened etc, anything else that you think would help.
Do you know the owners of the new houses? Could you chat to them about how easy they found the process? Do you know anyone on the parish council who might be able to advise you how supportive (or otherwise) they would be?
I have inherited a small piece of land in a village my family have lived in for over 200 years. The village is very expensive these days , I'm a nurse and have zero hope of ever actually being able to live there much as I would love too. The land was used by my grandfather as an allotment , 2 others have been built in on he last 10 years ( think mini mansion too!) I am mulling over the idea of trying to get planning for a little 2/3 bed house for myself and my boys . Where do I start though ? Clueless on how to go about even trying plus I don't want to end up spending thousands for them just to turn me down . I work in this village as a district nurse, not commuting to there then driving round for 8 hours a day would make my life so much easier .