Policy HSG7: Custom and Self Build Housing

Open22 Jan, 2024, 10:00am - 4 Mar, 2024, 11:59pm

Policy HSG7: Custom and Self-build Housing

On all sites of 100 dwellings or more, development will provide 5% of residential plots for self-builders or custom house builders. In determining the scale and nature of provision, the council will have regard to evidence about the level of demand, viability considerations and site-specific circumstances.

Where a site is required to provide custom and self-build plots, the plots will be made available in step with the delivery of the conventional market housing and marketed in a fair and open way for at least 12 months. For the first two month of this period, the plots will be prioritised to individuals and associations of individuals on the Council’s self-build register. The plots will be made available at competitive rates which are fairly related to the associated site/plot costs. Where the council agrees that the plots have been appropriately marketed and have not sold within this time period these plots may be built out as conventional market housing by the developer.

Where more than one custom or self-build unit is proposed, a design framework will be required to inform the detailed design of the individual units.

The mix of plots must respond to the types, sizes and build routes identified on the council’s register as well as wider housing requirements, and meet the Plan’s climate change policies to support the council’s climate emergency and ecological emergency declarations.

Plots for custom and self-build housing will also be encouraged as part of smaller development sites.

10.55 Custom and self-build housing offers the opportunity for residents to be involved in the design and construction of their own homes. The benefits include increasing the supply of housing, enabling more people to get onto the property ladder (through the delivery of lower cost housing), enabling a range of smaller developers into the local housebuilding market and providing a greater mix and variety of homes.
10.56 The council has a legal duty to meet the demand for plots under the ‘Right to Build’, and the council’s self-build register indicates that there is a high demand for custom and self-build housing in the borough, and that a mix of different types of plots are demanded. The Local Plan therefore seeks to meet this demand through requiring plots on strategic sites and encouraging delivery on smaller sites; single plot rural exception sites (Policy HSG4); and encouraging delivery through neighbourhood plans (Policy SPS6).
10.57 Although the NPPF does not differentiate between custom and self-build housing, they provide different routes by which residents can build their own homes. These are explained by the government-funded Right to Build Taskforce (Guidance Note PG1.2: Defining Self-build and custom housebuilding, August 2022). Self-build involves the occupier taking responsibility for the design, construction and funding of the home, and bearing the associated financial costs of securing the plot and procuring the construction. Custom build involves the occupier commissioning or building their new home through a range of housing delivery models facilitated and/or supported by a landowner, developer, contractor or enabler. The council’s self-build register collects information on residents’ preferred build routes and it is expected that the mix of homes should take into account the type of demand on the self-build register.
10.58 The council will secure custom and self-build plots on its largest development sites. Given that such sites will be built out over very long timescales, it is expected that 5% of plots will be secured in the initial consent, and that this will need to be reviewed on a phase-by-phase basis taking into account indications of demand at the time that that phase comes forward. Such indications of demand are not limited to the council’s self-build register as it is recognised that this may only be a partial reflection of demand.
Implementation and Monitoring

The policy will be implemented through:

  • Decisions on planning applications.
  • Notifying the council’s self-build register of opportunities that the council is made aware of.

The policy will be monitored against:

  • Number of custom and self-build homes granted planning permission and delivered, compared to the demand for plots indicated by the council’s self-build register and any other sources of evidence.
  • Number of custom and self-build plots marketed to people on the council’s self-build register.