Three new experts join NaCSBA’s expert team to aid the growth of Custom and Self Build housing in the UK

The National Custom and Self Build Association’s (NaCSBA) Task Force has announced its three latest recruits, who will be joining the expert team as ambassadors to help boost and integrate Custom and Self Build housing across the UK.

NaCSBA’s founder Ted Stevens OBE, along with Councillors Jeremy Christophers and Barry Wood (of Teignbridge and Cherwell respectively) will be joining the team to support Richard Bacon MP to champion the work of the Task Force at a political and community level. The announcement was made during a visit to see progress at Graven Hill, Bicester, the UK’s largest Custom and Self Build housing development to date. Graven Hill is a council-led scheme and will comprise up to 1,900 homes.

Richard Bacon MP, who initiated the Right to Build legislation said: “Custom and Self Build housing will only become mainstream if local authorities and other organisations show real leadership and truly harness the Right to Build. I welcome my fellow ambassadors and invite them to help me engage with our local authority colleagues to change the way our broken housing market works and enable thousands more people to build their own homes.”

Ted Stevens, former NaCSBA Chair, was awarded and OBE in 2014 for his work in developing the Self Build sector. He has international experience in both Custom and Self Build housing, as well as strong contacts within Government, the wider housing industry and the media. Ted, who is himself a self builder, will be leading the Task Force’s engagement with the community-led housing sector.

Jeremy Christophers is leader of Teignbridge District Council in Devon, one of the Government’s Right to Build vanguard authorities, announced in 2014. Christophers is no stranger to Self Build housing, after successfully developing his own home; he has long championed this form of housing in Teignbridge.

Barry Wood is leader of Cherwell District Council, another Right to Build vanguard. Wood has been instrumental in initiating the project at Graven Hill, which forms part of the Bicester Garden Town development and is being implemented by the council-owned Graven Hill Village Development Company (GHVDC).

Regarding the new appointments, Mario Wolf, the recently appointed Task Force director, said: “Lessons from projects in other parts of Europe have shown that for Custom and Self Build developments to be successful at scale, various things are crucial: Political support, strong leadership, a clear vision and a willingness to adopt new approaches to housing delivery. In Jeremy, Barry and Ted we have an excellent trio of leaders to champion our work and I look forward to working with them.”

Michael Holmes, Chair of NaCSBA, commented: “I am delighted that we have secured such high calibre and enthusiastic Custom and Self Build ambassadors. Their work with local authorities and communities will unlock the political will to enable other projects coming forward up and down the country.”

Today’s announcement comes ahead of the Task Force’s first regional Right to Build Expo event, which will be held on 18 September in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire. The Expo will be attended by Alok Sharma MP, Minister of State for Housing and Planning. Attendees will see the work of the Task Force in action and the role that Custom and Self Build housing can play in diversifying the UK housing market.

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