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Calls for Self-Build Revolution

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Passivhaus bungalow

Richard Bacon MP is pushing for more land to be made available to help people commission their own homes. Bacon says more plots should be sold to groups or individuals so they can self or custom build their own houses.

“If we were developing as many self-build units as the Netherlands, we'd be creating an extra 60,000 homes a year,” says Bacon. The MP championed 2016’s Right to Build Act, under which councils are obliged to monitor the demand for self-build plots in their catchment area, and provide sufficient sites to meet that need.

Bacon sees self and custom build not only as a means to meet housing demands but also as a way to improve attitudes to development in general.

“Under the current system, people are often resistant to development, despite the fact it’s their sons and daughters and grandchildren who need homes. That’s because they feel housing is something which is imposed on them, rather than something they help to shape. I’m trying to get to a place where we understand the difference between building boxes and building a great place to live.”

The MP recognises the importance of having a sense of ownership and belonging when it comes to meeting the housing need. Who wouldn’t want an affordable, bespoke home that’s designed to their individual requirements? And if homes are being built around you, you’re bound to prefer dwellings such as this to mass produced developer-built houses.

Image: David Barbour

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