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Boost for families wishing to build their own home

Friday October 30th, 2020

A review to make it easier for people to build their own home has been announced by Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick today (30 October 2020).

Building or designing your own home plays an important part in helping people get a foot on the housing ladder. Currently there are around 15,000 of these types of homes built every year – an increase of 50% in 2 years. But there is still more to be done to support the self and custom build industry, last estimated be worth almost £4.5 billion to the UK economy.

Councils are currently required to keep a register of those who wish to build in their local area. And by 30 October each year – ‘Right to Build’ day – councils should have granted planning permission to enough suitable plots to match the demand on their register.

The review announced today will examine how effectively these arrangements support self and custom building, including whether they increase land available the to support these homes.

To increase transparency, help understand how councils are meeting the needs of their communities and also support developers understand the demand, Mr Jenrick has also announced that the data councils collect on self and custom build in their area will now be published annually.

And the Housing Secretary has written to councils to ensure they consider the demand for these homes when providing land for build and making planning decisions in their area.

This follows the recent Planning for the future white paper published in August, setting out ambitious reforms to modernise the planning system, bringing a new focus on high-quality design and sustainability. The white paper includes proposals to explore how publicly-owned land disposal can support SMEs and the self-build sector.

Ministers from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government will also hold a roundtable with the self and custom build sector as well as councils as part of the review.

Housing Secretary Rt Hon Robert Jenrick MP said:

“We are backing people who want to design and build their own home and today I have launched a review to ensure councils provide enough land and take proper consideration for these homes both when making planning decisions in their area.

This will help more people get a foot on the housing ladder and support our building industry as we deliver the homes that this country needs.”

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