30 October 2019 was a momentous day on two counts.
Firstly, it was the first ever Right to Build Day – the day of reckoning for local authorities across England. They have to own up to how well they have handled the first tranche of self build legislation introduced in 2016. To remind you, under the law championed by Richard Bacon MP, all councils in England were obliged to keep a register of those wishing to construct their own homes.
Subsequent legislation within the Housing Act further compels councils to permission enough serviced plots for these parties.
The National Custom and Self Build Association (NaCSBA) have successfully lobbied the government to write to each of the local authorities demanding they report on how they have met their legal responsibilities. Some will take great pride in how well they have embraced the challenge.
Most will say they have complied, or will find a way of making it look like they have at least tried. Meanwhile, others will be wondering what on earth they can say to cover up three years of inactivity or, in a few shameful cases, intentional obfuscation to avoid meeting their legal obligations.
It will be interesting to see the results and I’m sure NaCSBA will be pushing for those local authorities who are not pulling their weight to get their houses in order.
If you are actively looking for land for your project, visit NaCSBA to get your name down.
The other great event was the soft launch of Build It’s Self Build Education House at Graven Hill in Bicester. No doubt you will be reading all about this project in the book bundled with this issue but let me add my congratulations to the team involved for a truly magnificent achievement.
Learn more:The Build It Education House
The house itself is superb and showcases all that is good about self building. Immediately you notice how much light and space has been created using a modest footprint. The spot of land is relatively compact and the design is built to make the most of the approved plot passport’s maximum dimensions.
Visit the completed Education House
The Build It Education House is open for visitors from 4th Jan 2020. You can sign up ahead of our opening!
The scheme features non-square rooms, a basement and a SIPs attic room which, combined with an open-plan design that uses pocket doors and a triple-height hallway, creates the appearance of a much larger house than the external dimensions would have you believe.
If you get the opportunity to drop in, then do so. I bet, like most of us there, you’ll have the feeling that you’d be happy to move in tomorrow!
While at Graven Hill, I took the opportunity to check up on progress at the main site. The first release of what will eventually be 1,900 plots is almost sold out, with a range of individually designed homes at or nearing completion. The whole place is as far from a typical housing development as you could imagine, with a massive variety of schemes, from traditional through to contemporary.
It’s going to be a great place to live, especially as everyone will have their own self build story to tell.