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NaCSBA Celebrates Right to Build Day 2021 and looks back on a year of progress for the sector and forward towards further changes that are underway.

“October 30th is the most important date in the custom and self build calendar. It marks the point when local authorities in England must ensure that they have met their legislative duty to ensure that they have provided sufficient suitable planning permissions to meet the demand on their custom and self build registers. It is a time to celebrate the most significant year for the sector in a generation but also to highlight the action that is still needed, and the change that we continue to fight for if we are to build more homes, better homes and more wanted homes.”

Andrew Baddeley-Chappell CEO of NaCSBA

Among the progress that we would like to celebrate and highlight are:

The Government Self and Custom Build Action Plan (Delivered 24 April 2021).

As the plan states “The government is committed to increasing the number of self and custom build homes in this country and to establish it as a mainstream option for people to choose to get on the housing ladder or when moving home.”

The plan includes the following:

Bacon Review (Delivered 21 August 2021)

The Prime Minister commissioned Richard Bacon MP to undertake an independent Review to develop a plan for a major scaling up of the self-commissioned new homes. The report contains six key recommendations and was “warmly welcomed” by the Government which is now considering its response. NaCSBA and the Right to Build Task Force played an important part in the delivery of the report.

Read the review on the Task Force’s website.

Help to Build (Announced 25 November 2020)

This new loan scheme will enable custom and self builders to access the market with just a 5% deposit.

As the Government has said: “Building your own home shouldn’t be the preserve of a small number of people, but a mainstream, realistic and affordable option for people across the country. That’s why we are making it easier and more affordable – backed by over £150 million new funding from the government.”

As they have also recognised, “In developing the scheme with Homes England we have used the model proposed by the National Custom and Self Build Association (NaCSBA) as a starting point.”

The launch was due earlier this year and has taken longer than we would like but we hope that the full details will emerge shortly.

Right to Build Legislation Review (Announced 30 October 2020)

The review of the legislation is the result of campaigning activity by NaCSBA. In announcing the review the Government stated that it would “examine how effectively these arrangements support self and custom building, including whether they increase land available to support these homes… to make it easier for people dreaming of building their own homes”.

The opportunity to change legislation is linked to the new planning bill, although these other changes have proved controversial, with the wider plans paused for now. Fortunately most changes we are seeking to not require new legislation, and many of them have been also raised by Richard Bacon MP in his review.

Self and Custom Build Fund (Deadline for Phase 2 – 8 November 2021)

The Self and Custom Build Fund follows the model of the successful One Public Estate Brownfield Land Release Fund and is targeted at Local Authorities to bring forward more custom and self build plots. The Fund has been allocated £25million to be distributed over two rounds of funding.

Read more

Right to Build Task Force (Announcement 24 April 2021)

The Right to Build Task Force which is operate by NaCSBA provides technical support, consultancy and guidance to both Local Authorities and Businesses with regards the delivery of more custom and self build homes. This service is delivered in part through the delivery of free information and support to local authorities and is funded by Government until at least 31 March 2022.

Read the Task Force’s Planning Guidance

National Custom and Self Build week (11 May 2021)

While the Task Force is focussed on educating local authorities, NaCSBA is keen to support professional understanding. This is vital if industry is to be able to step up to the challenge of providing more custom and self build as it scales up. For Custom and Self Build Week in May we hosted training for a range of professions – 11 hours of training for a range of disciplines, from financiers to architects, all of which are available as a free resource.

Catch up on training

National Planning Policy Guidance (8 February 2021)

This year the Government tightened its guidance that supports the Right to Build Legislation. This includes strengthening wording that Custom and Self Build is likely to be a material consideration in planning decisions. The Chief Planner wrote to all local authorities stating: The Government believes self and custom build housing can play a crucial role in securing greater diversity in the housing market as well as helping to deliver the homes people want. Self and custom builders are well placed to build high quality, well designed homes that are energy efficient, accessible, affordable and welcomed by their communities.

Right to Build data statistics ( February 2021)

Each year, 30 October is Right to Build Day, the day when councils need to demonstrate that they have ensured that sufficient plots are made available to meet the demand on the registers.
In previous years NaCSBA has conducted a Freedom of Information request of all English councils to track activity, but it is testimony to the success of our lobbying that government has now taken on this responsibility of monitoring activity around the Right to Build.
For the first time, in 2020 it hosted this data in a dedicated section on the website: Self-build and custom housebuilding data: 2016, 2016-17, 2017-18, 2018-19 and 2019-20

Access the data

Housing Diversification

While we work for our members to grow the sector, we don’t work in isolation, and know we are part of a wider set of alternative housing providers. Consequently, we work to boost housing diversification in general, by working to identify synergies with community led housing groups, and the bodies that represent Small-and-Medium-Enterprise housebuilders.

Find out more about Housing Diversification

Image by mohamed Hassan from Pixabay

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