Right to Build Task Force announces deputy ambassadors

The National Custom and Self Build Association (NaCSBA)’s Task Force has announced the three latest recruits who will be joining the association’s team of ‘ambassadors’ to help boost and integrate self- and custom-build housing across the UK.

NaCSBA’s founder Ted Stevens OBE, along with councillors Jeremy Christophers and Barry Wood (of Teignbridge and Cherwell respectively) will be joining the team to support Richard Bacon MP in championing the work of the Task Force at a political and community level.

The announcement was made during a visit to see Graven Hill at Bicester – the UK’s largest custom-build housing development to date. The scheme is council-led and will comprise up to 1,900 homes.

Ted Stevens was award an OBE in 2014 for his work in developing the self-build sector. He has international experience in both custom- and self-build housing as well as strong contacts within Government, the wider housing industry and the media. Stevens, himself a self-builder, will be leading the Task Force’s engagement with the community-led housing sector.

Jeremy Christophers is leader of Teignbridge District Council in Devon, one of the Government’s Right to Build vanguard authorities as announced in 2014. Christophers is no stranger to self-building after successfully developing his own home. He has long championed this form of housing in Teignbridge. Barry Wood is leader of Cherwell District Council, another Right to Build ‘vanguard council’. Wood has been instrumental in initiating the project at Graven Hill.

Regarding the new appointments, Mario Wolf, the Task Force’s recently-appointed director, said:

“Lessons from projects in other parts of Europe have shown that for custom- and self-build housing developments to be successful at scale, various things are crucial: political support, strong leadership, a clear vision and a willingness to adopt new approaches to housing delivery. In Jeremy, Barry and Ted we have an excellent trio of leaders to champion our work.”