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Government reviews Right to Build laws for the self build sector

Written by Ipswich Building Society

8 Dec 2020


Mortgages, Self Build

3 min read

Active followers of this blog will already be aware that we’ve been promoting the benefits of self build recently, looking specifically at how many people are considering building their home and whether they’d consider a brownfield site.

The National Custom and Self Build Association (NaCSBA) had identified that unfortunately, not all local authorities make it easy to find plots of land for self build. To bring you up to speed briefly, back in 2016 new legislation was passed that made it compulsory for local authorities to keep a running list of people who were interested in building their own home. Local authorities were given a three-year time frame in order to provide sufficient plots to meet demand from prospective self builders in their area.

However, NaCSBA claims some local authorities use three ‘dirty tricks’ to prevent people from joining or remaining on Self Build Registers. These include charging excessive fees, including plots already allocated to developers, and asking people to rejoin registers for data protection or administration purposes.

The fact that the registers exist is a major step forward for the industry but we’re pleased to report that the government has announced a new review of self build laws to help boost the number of people who build their own home.

The review, headed up by Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick, comprises four steps:

  • An examination to determine how effective current arrangements are at helping self and custom building.
  • Local authorities will be required to publish their data on self and custom build annually.
  • Communications to councils to compel them to consider the demand for these homes when providing land and making local planning decisions.
  • Government officials will host a roundtable with the self and custom build sector and local authorities.

Housing Secretary Rt Hon Robert Jenrick MP said:

“I have launched a review to ensure councils provide enough land and take proper consideration for these homes 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.”

Richard Bacon MP, Ambassador for the Right to Build Task Force said:

“I warmly welcome the government’s review of the current law. Some local councils are already doing an excellent job in providing more opportunities but some others are not yet supporting the spirit of the legislation and have some way to go if they are to grasp the huge opportunities for more and better housing which greater customer choice offers. We need to make sure every council is able to deliver on this important agenda which will help provide more high quality homes.”

There are around 15,000 custom and self-build homes built every year, an increase of 50% in two years but the UK is still woefully lacking on this front compared to our European neighbours.”

Hopefully, this review will give the sector the much-needed boost that it requires. Watch this space and we’ll keep you updated.

This article was published under our previous name of Ipswich Building Society. We changed our name in 2021 – find out more.

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