Government plans to double number of self-builders

The government hopes that requiring councils to keep registers of would-be self-builders will help it achieve its targets for the construction of new homes.
The government hopes that requiring councils to keep registers of would-be self-builders will help it achieve its targets for the construction of new homes.

Self-builders should find it easier to kick-start their dreams of building a home from this spring, with the launch of new registers to help them to find plots, the government has announced.

From April 1 councils will have to keep a register of aspiring self and custom house-builders when planning for future housing and land use.

As part of government plans to provide more homes, new measures and guidance have been put in place to set out the procedure local authorities will have to take when people wish to register their interest for a plot of land.

Housing Minister Brandon Lewis said that since the custom-build industry had the potential to help meet future housing needs, the government wanted to help it expand 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,” he said.

“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 registers are in addition to the measure in the Housing and Planning Bill which will require authorities to ensure they have sufficient “shovel-ready” plots to match the local demand on their register.

The Self-build and Custom Housebuilding Bill placed a duty on local authorities to keep a register of those seeking an interest in bringing forward self and custom-build projects.

In November’s Autumn Spending Review the government announced the establishment of the Housing Development Fund, which aims to provide access to £1bn of loan finance for up to five years supporting the provision of more than 25,000 homes through to 2024 to 2025. The fund is for custom-build, small and medium builders and innovative new building methods.