Last edited 04 Feb 2016

Self-build and Custom Housebuilding Bill 2014-15

The Self-build and Custom Housebuilding Bill 2014-15 is a private-members bill sponsored by Lord Best OBE and Richard Bacon, MP for South Norfolk and chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Self-Build and Independent Housing. The Bill has the support of the government and the opposition and has passed its final stage in the House of Commons. It will go to the House of Lords in February, introduced by cross-bench peer Lord Best, president of the Local Government Association.

It is described as, ‘A Bill to place a duty on local authorities to keep a register of individuals and community groups who have expressed an interest in acquiring land to bring forward self-build and custom-build projects and to take account of and make provision for the interests of those on such registers in developing their housing initiatives and their local plans; to allow volume house builders to include self-build and custom-build projects as contributing towards their affordable housing obligations, when in partnership for this purpose with a Registered Social Landlord; and for connected purposes.’

Bacon said, “Although many people in the UK would like to build their own home or commission a builder to construct exactly what they want, building your own home is still seen (as) a ‘difficult’ option which is the preserve of a small minority who are either highly eccentric or extremely affluent. This is what needs to change…. The aim of my Bill is help us reach the point where choosing to build your own home – or to have someone build a home for you that fully aligns with your personal choices as a customer – is a completely normal and routine part of the housing market.”

In its response to the consultation on the Right to Build initiative, the government said it intended to set out the legislative framework for the Right to Build in Bacon's bill. The Right to Build gives self-builders and custom builders the right to ask their local authority to identify a ‘shovel-ready’ site for their project.

The government suggests that ‘Building your own home can be a more affordable route to home ownership and an opportunity to own a bespoke and sustainably designed, high quality home. It can offer opportunities to smaller builders and contractors, create local jobs and contribute to local economies. The custom build industry is also important for the national economy and housing supply - turning over about £4 billion and providing 10,000 homes per year.’ Ref Gov.uk Increasing the number of available homes 16 May 2014.

From 1 April 2016, local authorities will be required to keep a register of aspiring self and custom house builders when planning for future housing and land use. See Self build and custom housebuilding registers for more information.

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