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Right to Build Supports Self-Builders

On the 31st October 2016, the new legislation ‘Right to Build’ came into action in England to help support aspiring custom and self-builders. The hope is to see an increase in the number of self builds in the UK, allowing thousands of people access to much needed land.


The local authority’s responsibility

As of the 1st April 2016 all local authorities in England were given the responsibility to maintain a database of all members of the public who were looking for a plot to buy to self-build. Using this information, it is now the local authorities’ duty to grant planning permission for sufficient ready-to-build plots to meet the demands of the Right to Build register.


What support do self builders get?

The Right to Build Portal was set up to give the public easy access to their local register and offers essential, useful information about building methods, finance and fees, finding land, health and safety regulations and time frames.


International Self-Build Comparison 


The UK shows the lowest percentage of homes self-built compared with many other developed countries in the world which are 50% and over.

Michael Holmes, Chair of the National Custom and Self Build Association and spokesperson for the Homebuilding & Renovating Shows has said:

“Apart from the attraction of having an individually designed home, there is a financial incentive to having a custom or self build property.  Depending on the level of involvement from the homeowner, it is possible to save 10-15 per cent compared to buying an existing property and 20-30 per cent for those willing to self build on a DIY basis.

Under the new legislation, councils can give priority to local self and custom builders with a connection to the area.  Councils can also encourage communities and self-build groups to help bring forward exception sites to create low cost homes on land that would not otherwise be granted planning permission for housing. With land constituting up to 80 per cent of the cost of a new home, this can make a huge difference to affordability. Some local authorities will look to make use of council owned land and other surplus public sector land, owned by the NHS, MoD and other bodies to create serviced plots.

The Right to Build legislation is not going to resolve the shortage of building plots for custom and self-build homes overnight, but it is the beginning of a transition in the housing market which, over the coming years, will see custom and self-build become a mainstream housing option, as it is in so much of the developed world.”

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