Planning and building
Self-build and custom build homes FAQ’s
What is Self-build and Custom Housebuilding?
Self build is when the person directly organises, design and build their new home. This covers a variety of projects ranging from the traditional DIY self-build to projects where the self-builder arranges for an architect/contractor to build their home for them and these may include modern methods of constructions where the homes are manufactured in a factory and assembled in the plot owned by the self-builder.
Many community-led projects are also defined as self-builds.
This is a more ‘hands off’ approach which include working with a specialist developer to help deliver your own home tailored to match your requirements. Custom build developers can manage everything from securing or providing a site in the first place, through to managing the construction work and even arranging the finance for you.
What is the Self build and Custom Housebuilding Register?
The Self-build and Custom Housebuilding Act 2015 (as amended by the Housing and Planning Act 2016), referred to in this document as the Act, requires local authorities and district councils to keep a register of people who are interested in self-build and custom housebuilding to occupy as a sole or main home in the Local Authority area.
What is the purpose of the Register?
The main purpose of the register is to establish demand for self-build and custom housebuilding in a local authority area.
Being on the Register means that:
- the information provided by applicants will be used to establish demand for self-build and custom housebuilding. The number of entries in the register indicates the level of suitable development permission the Authority should grant to suitable plots of lands;
- the applicants will receive information on suitable plots of lands granted permission.
- it does not guarantee that suitable plots of land will be identified or made available to applicants on the Register.
Why is the Council moving to 2 -part Register?
The law allows Councils to implement them and it also helps manage and allocate the limited supply of land.
The 2-part register was adopted by the District Council in July 2020 and it allows the Council to prioritise applicants with strong local connection to the area and also establish demand that is realistic and can be managed.
What is a serviced plot of land?
A serviced plot is a plot of land that either
- has access to a public highway and has connections for electricity, water and wastewater, or
- considered by the Council that can be provided with access to the connections within the life of a development permission granted in relation to that land. A development permission usually lasts 2 years.
Access to a public highway can include sections of private or un-adopted road, this doesn’t mean that the plot should be immediately adjacent to the public highway but there should be a guaranteed right of access to the public highway.
Connections for electricity, water and wastewater means that the services must either be provided to the boundary of the plot so that connections can be made as appropriately during construction or adequate alternative arrangements made possible such as the use of a cesspit rather than mains drainage.
Further, a plot of land alongside an existing public highway that is an infill between existing dwellings would count as being serviced. There is no expectation that services must be physically connected to the plot at the time of granting planning permission.
Those who are currently on the register will be assessed against the criterion below and asked to provide at least two documentary evidence listed in Appendices A.
Do I have to pay any fees to join the register?
Currently the Council does not charge any registration and/or annual fees to enter or remain on the Register. However, the Council reserves the right to introduce such fees at any time.
What happens next?
The Council will inform applicants within 28 days of receiving applications of whether they have been accepted onto and which part of the Register. Unsuccessful applications or applicants who have been entered onto Part 2 of the Register will be also informed within 28 days of receiving applications with reason(s).
Is there a right of appeal against the Council’s decision?
There is no right of appeal if the Council decides that an applicant does not meet the criteria. However, the Council must give reasons if it decides an applicant fails to meet the criteria and therefore cannot be entered onto Part 1 of the Register. This must be done in writing within 28 days of the date of such a decision.
What happens after you are entered onto the Register?
Once accepted onto the register the Council will write to applicants periodically to:
- establish if applicants wish to remain or withdraw from the Register,
- obtain or share relevant information, and
- inform applicants on Part 1 of the Register when it has permissioned suitable land with contact details of the landowner where consent has been obtained.
- If development permissions granted in Council owned land and no interests received from applicants from Part 1of the Register, the Council will invite expression of interest from Part 2 of the Register.