Self-Build Plot Registers Set to be Activated

by Andrew Hobbs
5th February 2016

Aspiring self-builders can soon expect improved chances of finding a suitable plot. From 1 April councils will be required to keep a register of would-be self and custom house builders when planning for future housing and land use.

Housing and Planning Minister Brandon Lewis is introducing the new system as part of government plans to reduce the housing shortfall and promote self-build as a viable route to home ownership.

“Many other countries have a track record of delivering large numbers of local homes through self-build and we’re determined to ensure self and custom housebuilding grows significantly,” says Lewis. “The new registers are a fantastic example of our commitment to double the number of custom and self-build homes by 2020 – so anyone who wishes to design their dream house can do so.”

The records will work alongside a measure in the Housing and Planning Bill which will expect authorities to ensure they have sufficient shovel ready plots to match the demand on their register.

The government has outlined the procedure local authorities are required to take when individuals express their desire for a plot of land. The register must, at a minimum, include their names and addresses and will serve as evidence of demand for this type of housing.

As part of the registration process, councils may request additional information beyond that essential to the legislation. This can provide a better understanding of the nature of self-build hopefuls in their area.

The guidelines also advise relevant authorities to create a webpage dedicated to self-build and custom housebuilding. This should outline what they are doing to promote such opportunities in the area and explain how the register works.

They will also be encouraged to publish data on the demand for plots revealed by the new legislation in their Authority Monitoring Report, in the hope that it will raise awareness amongst local landowners, builders and developers.

Should local planning departments maximise the potential of this new legislation, we can expect a significant boost to self-build numbers and a more pro-active approach to enabling people to find plots for their projects.

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