Child Okeford custom build

Land promoter Leaper Land recently submitted a planning application for a 65-plot custom and self build site outside the village development boundary. Set on the edge of the village of Child Okeford, the large-scale site was submitted with a strict design code to set the context for the development. This was in direct response to the rural nature of the site, to ensure the designs are in keeping with the characteristic local vernacular.

NaCSBA member Leaper Land specialises in the promotion of land, principally for custom and self build in rural sites. The 4 hectare Child Okeford development joins its other projects in Norfolk, Ingoldisthorpe, and Suffolk, Framlingham, with more new sites in the pipeline.

The company is working with the landowner, award winning architect Pollard Thomas Edwards and planning consultancy Rural Solutions on the edge of village site. This includes native planting and ecological enhancements as part of the 1.55ha of public open space.

The site includes 26 affordable units and the serviced-plots includes three routes to owners: self build, custom build and custom choice, some of which will be available as discount to open market plots as part of the provision of affordable units.

Custom choice is handed over at shell stage, with customisation available, but has the advantage that buyers can access conventional mortgage products and Help to Buy. However, this route is not exempt from Community Infrastructure Levy and has less stamp duty savings.

Leaper Land's Child Okeford custom build site
Leaper Land’s Child Okeford custom build site

Self build Needs Assessment

To support its application Leaper Land commissioned a detailed Self Build Needs Assessment from Iceni, which compiles an in-depth overview of local demand for the route. This includes the local authority’s register – and highlights issues that Iceni perceived around demand and actual permissions granted.

In addition, it includes wider data from BuildStore’s independent custom and self build register, its PlotSearch database and evidence from NaCSBA’s Ipsos Mori polls of demand and findings from its annual Freedom of Information request into the Right to Build registers.

“The assessment helps us put the best possible case for the application, that goes much further than the registers in evidencing demand, including local demography and any relevant local information,” said Ben Marten, Director of Leaper Land.

Together this evidenced an identified need for custom and self build, due to under-delivery locally, which is a fundamental principle of the planning application. This is compounded by the fact that North Dorset is unable to demonstrate a five-year housing land supply.

“As a company we made the decision to focus exclusively on custom and self-build, as we knew it would appeal to small landowners with a local connection, who really care about their legacy when selling a piece of land for development.
“If we get the message right we believe it will appeal to local authorities, especially as it links to their need to permission plots for the demand on their register,” he said.

If you have land that you think would be suitable for custom or self build, get in touch with Leaper Land.

Anyone interested in a plot can register for news about the development.

Images: Pollard Thomas Edwards/Leaper Land

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