You have the right to build...

18 November 2016 Potton News

The Self-build and Custom Housebuilding Act 2015 now places a duty on local authorities to keep a register of individuals who expressed an interest in acquiring land for self build.

The Right to Build has the potential to change the face of the self and custom build industry by giving more people an opportunity to build their own home.

Under the Right to Build, all councils in England must maintain a register of individuals and groups who want to build their own homes – and crucially they must permission enough viable plots to meet the demand measured on these lists.

What is the Right to Build?

On 31st October 2016, new legislation came into force establishing a Right to Build your own home. This potentially game-changing scheme means that councils have a duty to grant planning permission for sufficient serviced plots to meet demand, measured on so-called Right to Build registers, within a three-year period (and on an ongoing basis).

The idea is that this could not only revolutionise the self build sector, but also provide a much-needed shot in the arm for the perennially under-delivering housebuilding market.

So what does this all mean? Fundamentally, we’re now in a position where we can ask our local authorities to look to make viable plots available to us. This should lead to serviced sites with genuine planning permission coming through to match the level of demand indicated on each council’s register.

If enough of people sign up, it could also boost the general appetite for self and custom build among decision-makers, and encourage them to grant planning consent for more bespoke schemes – not just those that are enabled through the Right to Build.
It is hoped that the scheme will increase the number of self and custom build homes in the UK to 20,000 per year.

Are you eligible?

If you’re over 18 and a British citizen or national of a European Economic Area state or Switzerland, you can make an application to join any Right to Build register.

You must be seeking to build a home in the authority’s area as your sole or main residence, i.e. this is not a route for those looking to build a house to sell on.

Register Your Interest

Every relevant authority has a duty to publicise its Right to Build register – and most have chosen to do this by running a dedicated section on their websites about self and custom build. This is where you’ll find details of how to apply for inclusion on their register.

There are a few authorities that, whilst still compliant with the regs, haven’t even got this far: instead they simply list the details they expect from you and ask you to drop them an email.
If you find that your council is not fulfilling its legal duties, then be sure to contact them in writing to inform them of their obligation to maintain a register under the Act – and send a copy to your local MP, too.

You can find your local register via the NaCSBA website - Click here.

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