Planning for the Future

The government’s recently published Planning for the Future consultation paper sets out a vision for planning reform that improves the outlook for custom and self build.

The National and Custom and Self Build Association (NaCSBA) warmly welcomes the Planning Consultation Paper, as it sets out a vision for those seeking better, more beautiful and more sustainable homes. It represents the most ambitious planning reform since the foundation of the modern planning system in 1945.

The paper is a consultation – and sets a series of preferred proposals for review, with alternative ideas, and asks a series of questions.

Planning for the Future proposes a simplified zoning approach, plus a national design code that can be tailored to the very different communities across our nation.

Among the proposals, is the severe overhaul of the planning system, to be replaced with a clearer rules-based system that offers communities and developers surety.

It puts forward a significant change, that all land is put under one of three designations:

  • Growth Areas – “suitable for substantial development”,
  • Renewal Areas “suitable for development” which covers brownfield and existing built development and infill, and
  • Protected Areas, where more stringent controls will be in place.

NaCSBA firmly believes that the paper is the radical change that the system needs and will lead to more custom build and self build homes coming through the pipeline.

Supporting self build

Planning for the Future effectively sets out three new proposal that will support custom build and self build:

  • To allow local planning authorities to identify sub-areas in their Growth areas for self- and custom-build homes, so that more people can build their own homes. Local authorities should identify enough land to meet the requirements identified in their self-build and custom housebuilding registers.
  • To explore how publicly owned land disposal can support the self-build sector.
  • To maintain the exemption of self and custom build development from the Community Infrastructure Levy. Under the proposals, this will now explicitly cover infrastructure and affordable housing.

Furthermore, the specific support for custom and self build and community-led housing includes the allocation of land, plus greater use of public land. For the first time this will transform the quality, sustainability, and value of new homes in this country.

The continued exemption from the updated infrastructure levy will help make a compelling case to those thinking about building or commissioning their own home.

Access to suitable permissioned land remains the key constraint to the growth of our sector. These proposals now need to be combined with ensuring the existing Right to Build legislation operates as intended and that the manifesto commitment to a “Help to Build” scheme is delivered.

Andrew Baddeley-Chappell, NaCSBA CEO, said: “For too long our planning system and our housing market has been stuck in a rut. Consumer choice is the key to more and better homes that more people aspire to live in and that communities are happier to see built. There is huge potential to be unlocked. With choice comes responsibility and the local design codes will help ensure that these cherished new homes are fitting additions to their surroundings.

The message to the public is clear, the choice that you expect with every other product is now coming to the housing market – prepare to be excited and inspired.”

Find out more about the Consultation and how to respond to Planning for the Future on

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