Have you ever fancied building your own home? Despite the popularity of programmes like Grand Designs, if you live in England it’s no easy feat. We have a very low rate of self-built homes – with only around 15,000 completed each year. That’s not just down to the high cost of land and the lack of good-sized plots in desirable areas but getting planning permission is hard too.
So now the Government has decided to act. Last week Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick announced a review to ensure councils provide enough land for one-off housing projects and take self-build homes into consideration when making planning decisions. In fact the self-build industry has increased by 50% in the last two years and is worth almost 4.5bn to the economy, so it’s a sector deserving of support.
Councils already have to keep a register of anyone wanting to build their own home in their local area. Each year, 30 October is designated ‘Right to Build’ day – and by this date councils should have granted enough planning permissions for suitable plots to match the demand on their register. There is even a Self-build and Custom Housebuilding Act, passed in 2015, which is sometimes known as ‘the Right to Build’.
But how effective is this regime? Does the system really work for the consumer and are councils increasing the availability of land sufficiently to enable self-builds in their area to grow? Judging by the statistics, more work is needed to help hopeful self-builders get their projects off the ground
These are the issues that the Government’s review will address and it’s got the backing of the self-build industry which is delighted to see it finally being taken seriously. It also welcomes the fact that the data councils collect on self- and custom-built homes in their area will now be published annually.
As well as this new initiative from the MHCLG, the National Custom and Self Build Association’s Right to Build Taskforce is to run a series of online workshops with local councils to support the delivery of more self -build homes. So if you fancy building your own house, it might just be a bit easier in future.
Author : Maryanne Bowring
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