Vanguards to start surge of custom build homes

People who want to build their own home will be able to turn to their council to make their dream a reality.

People who want to build their own home will be able to turn to their council to make their dream a reality, under measures announced by Nick Boles today (2 July 2014).

The Planning Minister said he would give aspiring self and custom builders a new Right to Build, which would enable them to ask their council to identify a shovel-ready site for their project.

Prospective self and custom builders will be able to register their interest with the local council, who will then be required to offer suitable serviced plots for sale at market value.

Exercising a Right to Build

Housebuilding is a key part of the government’s long-term economic plan – with custom builders poised to play a key role in that.

Research by Ipsos MORI has shown that there are over 1 million people who are looking to build their own home – but the biggest barrier to doing so is finding a suitable plot of land to build on.

It means self-build currently accounts for just 1 in 10 new homes in the UK – compared to 60% in Germany, France and Italy and 80% in Austria.

Mr Boles today invited councils from across the country to come forward to become vanguard authorities, to get the Right to Build up and running in their area.

The lessons learned by these areas will then form a crucial part of a consultation later this year, on extending the Right to Build across the country.

Nick Boles said:

“I believe that government should help anyone who wants to build their own home to find a plot of land to build on. That’s why we want to give people a Right to Build so anyone looking for a shovel-ready plot can turn to their local council and expect them to suggest some suitable sites. Building your own home (with or without the help of a local architect and builder) can be much cheaper than buying a new home and offers people the change to design a place that works for them and their family. Becoming a Right to Build vanguard offers councils a way to help local people get a place to live which is designed and built locally.”

The Right to Build is one of a range of measures the government has introduced to help aspiring custom builders. Others include:

  • a £150 million investment fund for 10,000 ‘serviced plots’, shovel-ready sites where a developer can be hired to build a home; a prospectus published last week with help developers and community groups apply for funding to prepare the sites
  • 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 that makes clear councils should help custom builders and establish demand in their area