Right to Build Day 2019 is coming on 30th October – what does it mean for prospective self-builders?
Did you know that the UK has the lowest number of custom and self build homes anywhere in the world?
This may seem like a surprising statistic given the severe housing crisis in the UK. Legislation came into effect in 2016 requiring local authorities to maintain a register of people seeking to buy land for self-build purposes. 18,000 individuals signed up in the first year of legislation between 1st April and 30th October 2016.
Local authorities aren’t required to provide suitable land themselves, but just publicise land that is available for self-build. According to NaCSBA (National Custom and Self-Build Association) “30th October 2019 marks the date on which councils must demonstrate they have granted sufficient development permissions for the 18,000 people signed up to their local Custom and Self-Build Register”.
30th October is being marked as the “Right to Build Day 2019” and NaCSBA have gathered data by regularly requesting information from all English local authorities via the Freedom of Information Act. They believe that their 2018 data shows that “the level of activity, and the numbers signed up to the registers, is very mixed across the country, creating a postcode lottery of provision”. This is clearly very unfair for individuals who live in an area where the local authority is not being pro-active in its approach to self-build. This lack of activity by such local authorities is not supporting the Government’s target of creating 300,000 new homes annually by the mid-2020s.
So what’s being done about this?
NaCSBA will continue to champion the rights of self-builders and are planning to conduct a further Freedom of Information request after 30th October 2019 to establish the exact position of all English local authorities. They will then share this with the Government to hold the Government to its commitment to taking further action if necessary.
Andrew Baddeley-Chappell, CEO of NaCSBA says “Ongoing annual targets will mean local authorities will now need to continue to ensure a regular pipeline of new plots, enabling more wonderful new homes to be built and in doing so create a virtuous cycle of increased public awareness, increased opportunities and increased supply of custom and self build homes. The UK’s period at the bottom of the world league for the numbers of custom and self build homes may at least be coming to an end”. As members of NaCSBA and ardent supporters of self-build in the UK, we really hope that he is right. Houseplansdirect fully supports the outstanding work that NaCSBA and the Right To Build Task Force do on behalf of all self-builders today and in the future.
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