Last edited 05 Feb 2016

Self build and custom housebuilding registers

On 4 February 2016, the Department for Communities and Local Government and Housing and Planning Minister Brandon Lewis MP announced the launch of new registers to support self builders and custom builders to find plots for their homes.

The Self-build and Custom Housebuilding Bill was first presented to Parliament by Richard Bacon MP and placed a duty on local authorities to keep a register of those seeking an interest in bringing forward self and custom build projects.

From 1 April 2016 local authorities are required to keep a register of aspiring self and custom house builders when planning for future housing and land use. The registers are in addition to the measure in the Housing and Planning Bill which require local authorities to ensure they have sufficient ‘shovel-ready’ plots to match the demand on the register.

The requirements are set out in the Self-build and Custom Housebuilding (Register) Regulations 2016 made under the Self-build and Custom Housebuilding Act 2015. Local authorities are required to keep registers of individuals and associations of individuals, who are seeking to acquire serviced plots of land in their area in order to build homes for those individuals to occupy. The registers are known as the self-build and custom housebuilding registers. The government defines self-build and custom build homes as ‘…those that you build yourself or where you work with experts to deliver your home to your own specification.’

Housing and Planning Minister Brandon Lewis suggested more people want to build their own home and that the registers would help unlock the potential of the custom build industry to help meet housing needs.

Lewis said, “Many other countries have a track record of delivering large numbers of local homes through self-build and we’re determined to ensure self and custom housebuilding grows significantly. The new registers are a fantastic example of our commitment to double the number of custom and self build homes by 2020 – so anyone who wishes to design their dream house can do so. This government is committed to increasing housing supply and helping more people achieve their aspiration of home ownership – whether that’s buying on the open market through schemes like Help to Buy, or by building or commissioning their own home.”

The following guidance was added to the government's planning practice guidance website:

"The Government wants to enable more people to build or commission their own home and wants to make this form of housing a mainstream housing option. From 1 April 2016, most local planning authorities (including all district councils and National Park Authorities) are required to keep a register of individuals and associations of individuals who are seeking to acquire serviced plots of land in their area in order to build homes for those individuals to occupy. The Self-build and Custom Housebuilding (Register) Regulations 2016 and Draft planning guidance are available to view. In order to obtain a robust assessment of demand for this type of housing in their area, local planning authorities should supplement the data from the registers with secondary data sources such as: building plot search websites, 'Need-a-Plot' information available from the Self Build Portal; and enquiries for building plots from local estate agents."

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