NaCSBA has welcomed the updated National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) for England, published on 24 July 2018, saying that it clarified the situation for Custom and Self Build in England.

Michael Holmes, Chair of the National Custom and Self Build Association (NaCSBA) welcomed the new NPPF, commenting that it increased the recognition of the role of Custom and Self Build, supporting the sector to deliver more quality homes, that were delivered faster.

“The updated NPPF now fully recognises the Custom Build sector, in addition to Self Build. Furthermore, it is clear that the needs of those wishing to commission or build their own home must be assessed and reflected in planning policies,” said Holmes.

“In addition, the NPPF reminds English planning authorities of their statutory obligations to maintain a register of those seeking to acquire serviced plots and to deliver enough suitable development permissions to meet identified demand, as set out in the Right to Build legislation.”

The new NPPF also sets out further support for the development of smaller sites, while also encouraging councils and developers to sub-divide larger plots. This will support the delivery of new homes at speed, and provides opportunities for Custom and Self Build.

It is also notable that the NPPF also makes it clear that, “self and custom build could provide market or affordable housing,” in Note 26 to Para 61, which is a welcome addition.

NaCSBA will examine the NPPF to create a detailed analysis of opportunities contained within the revised document, and plans to publish a planning guide for the Custom and Self Build homes sector to maximise opportunities for scaling up.

NaCSBA’s executive committee works hard to represent the sector, lobbying and campaigning on behalf of its members, and it is pleased with the outcome of the NPPF following its official response to the draft NPPF.

The recognition of the sector in the NPPF will support NaCSBA’s drive to grow the number of people signing up to the Right to Build registers, a key planning tool as they ensure a minimum level of  serviced plots are permissioned.

The Right to Build places a duty on English local authorities to grant sufficient development permissions for serviced building plots to meet the demand evidenced on their registers on a rolling three-year basis, as set out in the Right to Build legislation.

“We continue to strongly encourage groups and individuals wanting the freedom, choice and value that comes with a Custom- or Self-built home to join their local registers by signing up via NaCSBA’s Right to Build Portal.”

By the end of the first full year base period NaCSBA’s research revealed that 33,000 individuals had signed up to express their interest in buying a plot.

Mario Wolf, Director of NaCSBA’s Right to Build Task Force, also welcomed the new NPPF, saying, “We are delighted that the revised NPPF has been further strengthened to support the implementation of the Right to Build legislation, particularly its recognition that Custom and Self Build can deliver affordable housing, and we look forward to working with our partners and local authorities to deliver it”.

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