Great news for the self and custom build sector.

Great news as for the self and custom build sector at the The Government White Paper on Housing Fixing our broken housing market is published by the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG).  See below for extracts setting out support for our sector.

Custom build

3.14 Alongside smaller firms, the Government wants to support the growth of custom built homes. These enable people to choose the design and layout of their home, while a developer finds the site, secures planning permission and builds the property. Custom built homes are generally built more quickly and to a higher quality than other homes, and tend to use more productive, modern methods of construction. They present a less risky business model for builders, as the house has been effectively sold before it has been built. Fewer homes are custom built in England than many other countries, but there is evidence of more demand for them including from older people.53

3.15 The main barriers to custom built homes are access to land and finance. Mortgages for custom and self-built homes represent a very small proportion of the overall lending market.54 We have already taken steps to improve access to land. The new ‘Right to Build’ requires local planning authorities to find land for those seeking a custom built home in their area, and they must keep a register of those wanting to build their own home. And the Home Building Fund will help custom build firms.

3.16 To build on this we will:

  • promote the National Custom and Self Build Association’s portal for Right to Build, so that people seeking to build their own home can easily access the local authority register in their area;
  • ensure the exemption from the Community Infrastructure Levy for self build remains in place while longer term reforms to the system of developer contributions are being explored;55
  • support custom build through our Accelerated Construction programme;
  • work with lenders to ensure they have plans in place to increase their lending in line with consumer demand. We are delighted that Virgin Money plans to start lending on custom build projects in the summer. 3.17 The Government also welcomes the establishment of the Right to Build Taskforce by the National Custom and Self Build Association. 3.18 If we do not believe local authorities are taking sufficient action to promote opportunities for custombuilding and self-building, we will consider taking further action including possible changes to legislation.

Supporting small and medium sized sites, and thriving rural communities

1.29 Policies in plans should allow a good mix of sites to come forward for development, so that there is choice for consumers, places can grow in ways that are sustainable, and there are opportunities for a diverse construction sector. Small sites create particular opportunities for custom builders and smaller developers. They can also help to meet rural housing needs in ways that are sensitive to their setting while allowing villages to thrive.

1.30 Reflecting proposals set out in the Government’s previous consultation on changes to the National Planning Policy Framework,27 we will:

  • amend national policy to expect local planning authorities to have policies that support the development of small ‘windfall’ sites (those not allocated in plans, but which come forward on an ad hoc basis); and
  • indicate that great weight should be given to using small undeveloped sites within settlements for homes, where they are suitable for residential development