New legislation that comes into effect on today, 31 October 2016, marks the commencement in full of The Self-build and Custom Housebuilding Regulations 2016. It is hoped that the new legislation will boost the number of self builds in the UK each year by giving thousands more people access to much-needed land.

The Regulations mean that within the next three years, local authorities in England are responsible for granting planning permission forsufficient shovel ready plots to meet the demand gathered by the Right to Build Registers.

Since 1 April 2016 local authroties throughout England have had a responsibility to create and maintain a database of members of the public who are interested in purchasing land in their area in order to self build be that on an individual or group basis.

Earlier this year NaCSBA’s Right to Build Portal was created to ensure the public has easy access to their local demand register. The Association is now in the midst of working with councils throughout England to uncover the number of sign-ups to date from the first phase (1 April 2016 – 31 October 2016)

The next steps
In addition to working with councils in England, NaCSBA has been working hard with the Scottish Government to help establish a set of policies to support custom and self build, which was pledged in its documentHomes Fit forthe 21st Century: The Scottish Government’s Strategy and Action Plan for Housing 2011-2020.When the documentation was launched, theScottish Government highlighted how keen it was to encourage greater use of self build to help increase housing supply.

To date there are a number of interesting initiatives taking place. For example, Glasgow City Council is using public sector land to create serviced plots for custom and self build (click here to read more). What’s more The Highlands has introduced a revolving 4M self build loan fund, which offers up to 150,000 to help people self build, which they can repay when they can get a mortgage on completion (click here to read more).

In the coming months, NaCSBA will build on these examples and encourage the other 34local planning authorities in Scotland to explore how they can encourage more of this type of housing.

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