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Right to Build

In July 2011, working closely with the Government, NaCSBA published a detailed Action Plan to promote the growth of the UK self build industry. Alongside this we also posted a report looking at how self build works in a number of overseas countries. As a result, the Government’s Housing Strategy, published in November 2011, endorsed and promoted self building as a means of delivering volume housing for the first time.

Since then, NaCSBA has continued to promote the opportunities for a thriving custom and self build market in the UK.

Paragraphs 50 and 159 of the National Planning Policy Framework (March 2012) and related planning practice guidance make it clear that local planning authorities need to identify local demand for people who want to build their own homes and make provision for it in their local plans. Failure to do this may lead to plans being found unsound, as highlighted in the letter from the Minister for Housing and Planning to all English Local Authorities on 5 March 2015.

The Self-Build and Custom Housebuilding Act 2015 received Royal Assent on 26 March 2015. It places a duty on all local authorities in England to keep a Register of individuals and community groups who have expressed an interest in acquiring land to bring forward self-build and custom-build projects and to have regard to the demand on their local Register when exercising their planning and other relevant functions.

In October 2014, the Housing and Planning Minister Brandon Lewis MP announced a consultation process on the Government’s proposed Right to Build scheme. Right to Build is an initiative to support aspiring custom and self builders who want to build their own homes.

The Government appointed 11 vanguard councils to test the practicalities of operating the Right to Build across the country. On 27 March 2015 the Government published its response to the 2014 consultation, which confirmed its intention to take forward the Right by preparing regulations and guidance setting out the detailed operation of the local Registers in 2016.

Since 1 April 2016, local authorities in England have been legally obliged to maintain a register of people and groups interested in self building. NaCSBA’s Right to Build Portal has been created to ensure the public has easy access to their local Custom and Self Build Demand Register.

The Right to Build is expected to commence before spring 2017 and will require, by law, that local authorities ensure there are sufficient plots with planning permission to meet local demand.