The Right to Build registers

The Right to Build Portal is a core campaign for NaCSBA, that allows people to search for the Right to Build registers near them. The results list the registers near to the location they’ve searched by, telling them how many people are on those registers. From here you can link directly to the council’s register and sign up with them.

Find the Right to Build Portal on the Self Build Portal

We’ve created this campaign to make it easier for people to find their register, as the are often hard to find. But it also allows us to see how many people are searching for registers, information we can share with Government, to show how many people are interested in building.

You can find out more by contacting us at

What is the Right to Build

The Right to Build is the nickname for the legislation that entitles people in England to sign up to their local Right to Build registers.

Since 1 April 2016, the legislation has required English local authorities to maintain a register of people and groups who want to self or custom build locally. There is no equivalent for Scotland, Northern Ireland or Wales.

Councils must ensure they have sufficient ‘shovel-ready’ plots to meet this demand, and they have three years from signing up, measured from the end of October each year. To do this, they need to grant suitable planning permissions or permissions in principle for these serviced plots.

More detail about the legal basis of the Right to Build can be found on the website of the Right to Build Task Force.

Unhappy about the charge – Complain!

Some councils are now charging people to sign up on their Right to Build register (see the FAQ, right). If your council is doing this, and you’re unhappy about it, use this template letter to register your complaint.

Download the complaint letter template to object to charges.

Some may be applying eligibility tests to their Right to Build register, which while they are allowed can seem unfair.Use this template letter to register your complaint if you feel they are unjustified.

Download the complaint template to object to eligibility tests.

This will be saved to your downloads folder. You’ll need to Google your council’s complaints department, but we suggest emailing it to: the council complaint’s office, the council’s planning office, your local MP (find yours, here) and copying in NaCSBA as well (Please check you are happy with our Privacy Policy about how we handle this data if you do copy us in on your letter).

NaCSBA is looking into those councils that charge, to ensure that their fees are reflective of the costs associated with running the register.

NaCSBA’s role in the Right to Build

In July 2011, working closely with the Government, NaCSBA published a detailed Action Plan to promote the growth of the UK self build industry. Alongside this we also posted a report looking at how self build works in a number of overseas countries.

As a result, the Government’s Housing Strategy, published in November 2011, endorsed and promoted self building as a means of delivering volume housing for the first time.

In October 2014, the Housing and Planning Minister Brandon Lewis MP announced a consultation process on the Government’s proposed Right to Build scheme. The Government appointed 11 vanguard councils to test the practicalities of operating the Right to Build across the country.

On 27 March 2015 the Government published its response to the 2014 consultation, which confirmed its intention to take forward the Right by preparing regulations and guidance setting out the detailed operation of the local Registers in 2016. The Self-Build and Custom Housebuilding Act 2015 received Royal Assent on 26 March 2015.

Right to Build: FAQs

NaCSBA has put together a series of frequently asked questions about the Right to Build – available on the Right to Build Portal.