Press release

New Right to Build areas at forefront of helping aspiring self-builders

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Eleven areas across the country to benefit from the government-backed opportunity, under plans announced by Brandon Lewis.

Eleven areas across the country will benefit from the latest government-backed opportunity to help aspiring custom or self-builders get their projects off the ground, under plans announced today (30 September 2014) by Brandon Lewis.

The Housing Minister said these 11 areas would be at the forefront of the government’s efforts to help those looking to build their own homes turn their dreams into reality.

The Right to Build is the latest in a range of measures designed to help those looking to build their own home. These 11 chosen areas will establish and maintain a register of prospective custom and self-builders in the area and begin to identify shovel-ready sites for those on the register - becoming the first to offer local people the right to design and build their own home.

Housing Minister Brandon Lewis said:

We’re determined to help anyone who aspires to own their own home – whether that’s buying on the open market through schemes like our Help to Buy, or to build.

That’s why from today, 11 areas across the country will be the first to offer a new Right to Build, one of a range of measures we’re taking to ensure anyone who wants to build their own home has the opportunity and help they need to do so.

This is one of a range of measures we’re taking to help aspiring homeowners, but also to get Britain building – and thanks to our efforts, house building levels are at their highest since 2007 and rising.

Right to Build

House building is at the heart of the government’s long-term economic plan, including supporting people to design and build their own homes - often at a lower cost than buying an existing property.

Ministers are introducing the Right to Build to help more people to do this: aspiring custom or self-builders will be able to register their interest with the council, who will then be required to offer suitable serviced plots for them that are for sale at market value.

This will not be a free-for-all - those looking to build will still need to go through the normal planning application process. But it will open up the opportunity to self-build beyond those with “grand designs” so even more people can realise their self-build ambitions.

These 11 areas announced today will be the first to offer this new right to their residents from today, and will each receive a share of £550 000 to do it. They are:

  • Cherwell District Council, who will receive £90,000 and are committed to deliver 2,000 custom-build homes over the next 10 years
  • South Cambridgeshire District Council, who will receive £50,000 and will bring forward at least 100 plots of land for custom builders and to begin selling land from January 2015
  • Teignbridge District Council, who will receive £100,000 and will be implementing a ground breaking ‘5% self-build’ policy in their newly adopted Local Plan so 5% of all new homes in the area are delivered by custom and self-builders
  • Shropshire Council, who will receive £10,200 to bring forward 6 hectares of land for self-builders by linking with Stoke Council and local social landlords to find suitable plots
  • Oldham Metropolitan Borough Council, who will receive £15,000 to begin bringing land forward for sale in autumn 2014 by using formerly-developed council-owned land to support aspiring self-builders in the area
  • West Lindsey District Council, who will receive £5,000 to make self-build plots available on previously-developed public sector land in the area
  • Exmoor and Dartmoor National Park Authorities, who will receive £28,000 to explore how local self-builders can be helped while protecting important countryside
  • Pendle Borough Council, who will receive £46,000 to deliver self-build plots in the area and explore how this could be used to further deliver affordable homes
  • Sheffield City Council, who will receive just under £100,000 to further deliver over 800 self-build sites, and look to support groups planning their own custom builds
  • South Norfolk District Council, who will receive £25,000 to work with Saffron Housing Association in the area to deliver 40-60 custom build plots
  • Stoke-on-Trent City Council, who will bring forward 72 hectares of land for local self-builders in the area

These 11 areas will now test the Right to Build to help ultimately increase the size of the custom and self-build sector.

This new measure is in line with proposals included in a Private Member’s Bill currently going through Parliament by MP for South Norfolk Richard Bacon, which would place a duty on local councils to keep a register of individuals who have expressed an interest in finding land for their self-build projects.

This first wave of areas will form part of a consultation on Right to Build. It will be decided whether the changes should be extended across the country later this year.

This is 1 of a range of measures the government has introduced to help aspiring custom and self-builders.

Others include:

  • a £150 million investment to bring delivery of up to 10,000 serviced plots - shovel-ready sites where a developer can be hired to build a home
  • making custom builders exempt from paying the community infrastructure levy
  • introducing a new £30 million Custom Build Homes Fund, which makes available repayable finance for larger multi-unit projects and grant funding for community self-builders
  • planning guidance which makes clear that councils should help custom-builders and establish demand in their area

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