Leading body criticises handling of Right to Build policy

by Charley Ward
25th February 2019

More than 40,000 people are now on Right to Build registers across England, but this number may be far short of the real demand, as authorities fail to promote the lists while making it increasingly harder to join.

Over 10,000 new registrations have been added, many via the Right to Build Portal. While NaCSBA is happy to see the number of people who have registered  growing, it remains the case that the numbers remain far short of the real underlying demand.

NaCSBA’s chair Michael Holmes said: “While it’s great news that the numbers who want to self build has increased, NaCSBA has deep concerns that, rather than meet the demand for custom and self build homes through the granting of planning permissions to match demand, some local authorities are instead seeking to minimise the number of registrations.”

Research shows that, while in the first year of the scheme very few councils placed restrictions on joining, over one in four applications is now subject to a local connection test and/or monetary charge.

Local connection tests must only be applied where there is a strong justification and in response to a recognised local issue. Charges must be on a cost recovery basis but range from £50 one-off to £350 as a one-off charge and £150 for each year.

NaCSBA believes this is creating a postcode lottery and a domino effect by shifting activity towards councils who still maintain open applications.

Mr Holmes said: “Through their actions, these local authorities are reducing the number of properties built and depriving individuals and families of the best and most cost-effective route to a well-designed home of real quality and value.”

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