Housing and Planning Minister Brandon Lewis today (24 October 2014) announced plans to support aspiring custom and self builders who want to build their own homes.
The minister published details of plans for a new Right to Build across England, so that anyone who wants to build their own home will be able to turn to their council for help in finding a suitable plot of land.
This comes at the same time as a government supported Private Member’s Bill on plans for a Right to Build register is being taken forward through Parliament by the MP for South Norfolk Richard Bacon.
Eleven areas are already pioneering the Right to Build scheme, developing a register of prospective custom builders in the area and matching them up to shovel ready sites.
Mr Lewis said making custom build a more realistic option for more people was part of the government’s drive to support aspiring home owners, including a new generation of custom builders who see it as an alternative to buying an existing home.
The consultation seeks views from local planning authorities, the custom build sector and prospective custom builders about what they would like to see from the Right to Build. It looks at:
- the local demand for custom build
- meeting demand on the register with available land
- how the Right to Build will work within the existing planning framework
Planning Minister Brandon Lewis said:
Custom build should not be the preserve of a select few but a realistic opportunity for anyone who wants to build their own home and that’s why we’re supporting this Bill.
Eleven areas are already leading the way on the Right to Build. And our plans for this Right across England will help more people turn their ambitions into reality and clear the way for a new generation of custom builders.
This is just one of a range of measures we’re taking to help aspiring homeowners, and to get Britain building – and thanks to our efforts, house building levels are at their highest since 2007 and rising.
Supporting aspiring custom builders
House building is at the heart of the government’s long-term economic plan, including supporting people to design and build their own homes – which can often be at a lower cost than buying an existing property.
This will not be a free-for-all – those looking to build will still need to go through the normal planning application process.
This is one of a range of measures the government has introduced to help aspiring custom and self builders.
- a £150 million investment fund to support delivery of up to 10,000 serviced plots
- making custom builders exempt from paying the community infrastructure levy and scaling back section 106 tariffs
- introducing a £30 million Custom Build Homes Fund in October 2012, which has made available repayable finance for larger multi-unit projects and grant funding for community custom builders
- planning guidance that asks local planning authorities to assess the demand for custom build and plan to meet this
See the consultation on the Right to Build. The closing date for responses is 18 December 2014.
Custom home building involves individuals or groups of individuals commissioning the construction of a new home or homes from a builder, contractor or package company. Custom build includes self builders who build their own homes themselves.
The 11 areas that have been selected as Right to Build vanguards that will help aspiring custom builders get their projects off the ground are:
- Cherwell District Council
- South Cambridgeshire District Council
- Teignbridge District Council
- Shropshire Council
- Oldham Metropolitan Borough Council
- West Lindsey District Council
- Exmoor and Dartmoor National Park Authorities
- Pendle Borough Council
- Sheffield City Council
- South Norfolk District Council
- Stoke-on-Trent City Council
For more details on the current Right to Build vanguards see this press release.