Last night – Wednesday 22 October 2014 – I attended, along with other NaCSBA board members and a few guests from industry – a private briefing from Richard Bacon MP, who is leading a private member’s bill which introduces the Right to Build.

In a passionate and very eloquent introduction, he outlined his vision that self-building should become as mainstream an option as buying a regular house from a developer. The Bill, which has its second reading tomorrow and, if all goes well, will become law by next May, will require local authorities to keep a register of people in their area who would like to self-build and, secondly, ‘have regard’ to it in their housing and planning actions.

Bacon mentioned that the last part is deliberately vague as to allow future Governments to establish details on criteria, affordability, incentives and punishments for councils etc. The information from the eleven vanguard authority trials that are now underway will feed into it, as will a public consultation exercise which is about to launch.

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