On February 22nd, NaCSBA recently the Garden Cities Alliance event in Letchworth Garden City. Keynote speeches were from Richard Bacon MP and from Lord Matthew Taylor of Goss Moor who spoke about the origins of the UK’s housing crisis and the history of the Green Belt.

NaCSBAs Chair Michael Holmeshosted a workshop looking into ways the custom and self build sector can help to deliver homes in Garden Cities, Towns and Villages.Conclusions of the workshop included:

  • The need to establish demand through the promotion of custom and self build across all tenures at community level, most likely at neighbourhood plan level.
  • A consumer awareness campaign is a key requirement and could be run in conjunction with theCommunity Led Housing movement.
  • A possible later session run by NaCSBA Partners.

In addition, the Graven Hill Village Development Company looked at early lessons learned from the experience of the UKs largest single custom and self build site near Bicester in Oxfordshire (1,900 plots). The group also looked at how social media apps can be used to allow custom and self buildgroups to coalesce and communicate, and the role of the Right to Build Registers in promoting this.

The meeting was attended by representatives ofthe Department for Communities and Local Government,local authority representatives from three of the recently announced first wave of Garden Villages, Graven Hillin Oxfordshire, the Confederation of Co-Operative Housing,self builders,and industry representatives.

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