Self build development in Wokingham gets the green light

Wokingham Borough Council has approved a scheme to make 21 self build plots available to local residents
by Sofia Delgado
20th February 2019

The council has announced a total of 21 self build plots will become available for Wokingham residents wishing to design their own homes.

A Wokingham’s first, the new custom build development in Wheatsheaf Close is a community-led project aiming to bring together self builders and other residents to have their say during the design process.

“This is a great opportunity for residents across the Borough who’re interested in building their own home to have a chance to do it,” said councillor Parry Batth, executive member for health and well-being, adult social care and housing.

Read more: Guide to Designing a Collective Self Build

Eight of the plots will be sold to self builders on the open market to help offset the cost of the remaining 13 plots, which will be available to self builders on a shared ownership basis to help borough residents get onto the housing ladder. The council will retain the freehold to all the shared ownership homes.

Applicants who have registered under the Right to Build scheme, and who meet the local connection criteria, will be given priority to buy land.

The Right to Build legislation came into force in 2016 and places the onus on councils across England to grant planning permission for sufficient serviced plots to meet local demand from self builders.

Demand is measured on so-called Right to Build registers within three year periods, with the first deadline coming up in November 2019.

This means councils will have to had put enough schemes in place to permission serviced plots for self builders who registered between 31st October 2016 and 31st October 2017.

read more about the right to build

Feasibility work suggests the development will comprise:

  • Four two-bedroom houses
  • 12 three-bedroom houses
  • Four four-bedroom houses
  • One five-bedroom house

The next step is to appoint a project manager to facilitate the community-led scheme, bringing together local residents and self builders to develop plans for the site in conjunction with the borough council and its development company Wokingham Housing.

“We’re particularly excited about the 13 plots that will be available under a shared ownership scheme,” said Cllr Batth.

“This will allow our residents who wouldn’t be able to afford to build their own home without some financial help the opportunity to do so. This is designed to help those first time buyers looking to get on the housing ladder.

The councillor has prompted residents in Wokingham who are interested in this initiative to sign up to the local register to be notified about applying for one of the plots.

It is anticipated that an outline planning application, including a clear design code to ensure consistent and high quality design is achieved across the development, will be submitted next year.

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