New Workshop for Self Build Groups: How to Get Planning Permission

A new workshop for community self build groups will cover the ins-and-outs of securing planning permission for community-led housing schemes.
by Sofia Delgado
31st October 2018

Community self build group RUSS is launching a new workshop in London to explain the steps groups should take to secure planning permission from their local authority.

The self build group recently secured planning permission for its £8m affordable housing project in Lewisham, following a lengthy process. The workshop will explain how RUSS managed to overcome various obstacles over the last three years, providing a detailed insight into the hurdles that had to be cleared and the vital lessons learnt along the way.

The workshop is a great opportunity for individuals or groups that are planning similar projects to learn more about the processes. Architects, housing professionals and other consultants involved in advising community led housing groups are likely to benefit from the workshop, too.

3D drawings for RUSS community self-build project in London

Back in the 1980s, architect Walter Segal pioneered a self build method based on simple home designs that were functional to the residents and easy to construct. Two projects – of 10 houses each – were erected in the London Borough of Lewisham.

Some of the original residents still live there and it’s their children who have decided to follow in their parents’ footsteps and embark on a similar project to create the homes they need. RUSS started when Kareem Days – who grew up in Walters Way – got together with his friends to plan a self build community.

Learn more: The legacy of community self build in Lewisham

Attendees will learn how RUSS formed and its membership structure; how it developed its vision for the project and how the RUSS model works. At the end of the workshop, self builders will understand how to undertake an appraisal for a community project to check whether it’s viable and affordable.

The workshop will also explore the costs of the Lewisham scheme – including land costs, how much it costs to develop a site, what’s the cost of building each home, and what are the key differences between building to rent and building to sale.

Workshop organiser Anne Kennedy says: “This workshop is the second module in our education programme and it covers the actions required to take the project from a vision to the planning application stage. If people would also like to attend module 1, which covers the early stages of a project, we will be re-running this on January 2019”.

Speakers at the event are key professionals that helped RUSS secure its planning permission:

  • Jon Broome: Architect, self builder and RUSS Trustee who worked with Walter Segal
  • Emma Gittus: Director at Bringelly, community-led housing project specialist
  • Chris Carthy: Project manager for the RUSS scheme
  • Kareem Dayes: Founder and former Chair of RUSS

The workshop takes place on Saturday 17th November and costs £50. A small number of free slots may be available. To find out more visit contact Anne Kennedy via school@theruss.org.

Find full details of the programme for both modules on their respective Eventbrite pages: 17 November (Module 2) and 26 January (Module 1).

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