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Group self and custom build – is this the future?

Eco-friendly group self and custom build could possibly be the future and we need proactive people (as well as willing landowners) to get these innovative projects off the ground.

190,000 self-build homes have been built in Berlin, why are our European neighbours so ahead of the game when it comes to self and custom build? Figures show that demand for self and custom build is here in the UK with 40,000 people estimated to be registered on local authority self and custom build waiting lists across the country. This is despite such lists being poorly advertised.

The government is trying to help us deliver more self and custom build homes. The Housing and Planning Act of 2016 places a duty on all local authorities to provide enough self and custom build serviced plots to meet demand shown on their self and custom build registers within three years of them registering.

Many people are interested in building their own home but do not know where to start. The people we receive enquiries from are from all walks of life, some are looking for an aspirational home while others just want somewhere affordable to live and can see self/custom build as a great way to secure a modest home by saving money by doing things themselves.

Building an eco-friendly and sustainable home is often at the top of everyone’s agenda which is positive, as it shows that those interested in self and custom build want to do their bit to help combat climate change. These people should be encouraged to fulfill their dreams as it could lead to the delivery of more eco-friendly build practices, build people’s confidence in the build process, and hopefully lead to more people following suite.

Land availability is a key component which will have an impact on whether self and custom build projects are successful. Working together as part of a group can often help self and custom builders access land due to economies of scale (as a landowner is more likely to sell to a group rather than a single self/custom builder).

It is always useful to look at schemes delivered elsewhere as a starter for ten when considering forming a self/custom build group. There are several ways in which group self and custom build can be achieved and it often requires local authorities, local communities, local politicians and the self-builders themselves to think outside the box. And finally, registering on the Council's Self Build Register should be a priority. Some Council's charge a small administration fee for registering whilst registering on some Council's self build register is absolutely free!


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