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Self-build and custom housebuilding

The National Planning Policy Framework states that in order to deliver a wide choice of high quality homes, widen opportunities for home ownership and create sustainable, inclusive and mixed communities, local planning authorities should take account of the needs of different groups in the community including people wishing to build their own homes.

To this end, the Government enacted the Self-build and Custom Housebuilding Act 2015 (subsequently amended) which places a duty on certain public authorities to keep a Self-build and Custom Housebuilding register. The register is a list of people who are looking to acquire a serviced plot of land to bring forward self-build and custom housebuilding projects and the Regulations require the authority to ‘have regard’ to the register in carrying out planning and other functions.

What does this mean in practice?
If you are interested in building your own home, either by yourself or as part of an association, you can apply to be added to the register of interested parties. We will use the register to gauge the level of demand for this type of development in Tamworth and to influence decisions in a number of areas such as planning, housing, land disposal and regeneration.

If you’d like to be added to the register, you can visit the Self-build and Custom Housebuilding Register page.

Self-build and custom housebuilding FAQs

What is custom and self-build?
In planning terms, ‘custom build’ and ‘self-build’ share a similar meaning and the terms are often used interchangeably. ‘Custom build’ is where a person commissions a specialist developer to help to deliver their own home, while ‘self-build’ is usually where a person is more directly involved in organising and constructing their home. Both methods require significant input from the homeowner in the design process.

What is a ‘serviced plot of land’?
For these purposes, a serviced plot of land means a piece of land that either has access to a public highway and connections for electricity, water and waste water or could be easily provided with those things.

What help can the Council provide?
We will look to provide opportunities for people to build their own home through a number of means including by marketing appropriate Council owned sites for sale and by working with developers and landowners to provide opportunities on other privately owned sites. What we can’t do is to provide sites for free or to subsidise the purchase of land for self-build projects. Where we release any Council owned land, the land would be made available for sale at current market value and would be open to competition.

What about funding?
We can’t provide any assistance in funding a project. Paying for a self-build project is slightly different from buying a ready-built property, because you’ll be funding the building work over a period of weeks or months, rather than in one go, so mortgage options are often limited for this type of development. Specialist mortgages are available but you are advised to seek professional financial advice before embarking on a custom or self-build project.

Where can I find further information?
If you have a question about custom and self-build in Tamworth, you can email your enquiry to developmentplan@tamworth.gov.uk

Further information on custom and self-build in general is available through the Self Build Portal at www.selfbuildportal.org.uk