2023 NaCSBA conference

We were delighted to host our second annual conference in the packed out theatre at the NSBRC in Swindon on 14 November. Sponsored by Fleming Homes and supported by the NSBRC, the day focused on the themes of planning, policy, data and delivery, providing a full itinerary for delegates.

As well as a networking opportunity for NaCSBA members and   operating in the custom and self build sector, the day offered valuable insight and new research to inform practice.


An unexpected cabinet reshuffle meant that the new housing minister, in post for a day, was unable to attend, with NaCSBA’s Director of Policy instead setting out a series of asks for the sector. This was followed by the enthusiasm of Richard Bacon as he shared a personal view of his recent update to the Bacon Review.

In addition, Angela Doran shared progress from her year as Head of Homes England’s Self Commissioned Homes Unit, with its focus on engaging with the sector, prior to investing in and delivering more self commissioned homes. Clearly, this will involve working closely with SME housebuilders and local authorities to support delivery in the future.

Planning stream

Two inspirational speakers shared takes on the planning system with the audience. First up, James Corbet Burcher, Planning Barrister at No5 Chambers, shared his insight into what the future of planning could look like, and how this could support CSB delivery, especially in consideration of the new Levelling-Up and Regeneration Act. It was very welcome hearing his optimism around the outlook for the sector, find out more here.

Ian Foster, Business Development Manager at the Planning Portal, also delivered an overview of the changes taking place at the Planning Portal as the digitisation of planning continues to improve the process. In particular this holds great potential for improving the counting of custom and self build to assess against register demand.


The afternoon shared the results of brand new research, curated for the event. Kicking off was Bryony Harrington, Head of the Right to Build Task Force, who shared valuable research that demonstrates the added sustainable and economic impact of custom and self build, in terms of labour and materials. This empirically proves what many in the sector have long known about CSB homes.

Following this Peter Johns and Andrew Baddeley-Chappell, CEO and Director of Policy respectively, gave an overview of the Right to Build Data. This dealt with the digital tool developed jointly by LIVEDIN and NaCSBA, launched in May, which tracks demand and supply, with detailed analysis by authority.

The NSBRC’s MD Harvey Fremlin then supplied insight from this summer’s Consumer Aspirations Survey, reflecting the challenges and incentives that self builders face as they pursue their ambition.

Finally, Peter Johns shared NaCSBA’s Business Conference Survey, reflecting our member’s feelings about the sector’s direction, and the potential for growth.

The day was summed up by one delegate, who commented:

“I look forward to the conference every year a it provides a much larger picture for me, providing a greater understanding of where the industry is heading – particularly from a political standpoint.”

Peter Johns, Richard Bacon, Andrew Baddeley-Chappell, Harvey Fremlin

Image: from L-R, Peter Johns – NaCSBA CEO, Richard Bacon MP, Andrew Baddeley-Chappell – NaCSBA Director of Policy, Harvey Fremlin – MD of NSBRC
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