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Self-build and Custom Build homes have been included in the draft Welsh Planning Policy (Edition 10), with Welsh Government launching a consultation where you can have your say about the sector. Both NaCSBA and the Right to Build Task Force have held meetings with Welsh Government, highlighting the benefits of diversifying housing supply.

Planning Policy Wales sets out the land use planning policies of the Welsh Government, supplemented by Technical Advice Notes (TANs). Each TAN provides detailed planning advice on specific subjects.

The new draft states:

3.31 Planning authorities must also consider the opportunities for self-build and custom build options to contribute to the delivery of the proposed housing. When promoting Self-build and Custom build development, planning authorities must consider all relevant policy options including the use of Local Development Orders (LDOs) and site specific design codes to simplify the planning process. LDOs and 45 site specific design codes simplify the planning process and can enable housing development to be brought forward more quickly.

To support its work, Welsh Government has launched a Consultation Document, with responses required by the 18 May, requesting input on the proposed revisions to Planning Policy Wales. NaCSBA encourages its members to engage with the consultation and help secure the CSB sector is factored into the final edition of the Planning Policy.

The consultation is given to support the commitment to review Welsh policy in light of the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act (WFG Act), which requires public bodies to work better with people and communities for a more joined-up approach to delivering sustainable development.

With specific regard to the Custom and Self-build, the draft policy puts forward the following statement, with three focused questions about the sector:

To deliver the new housing it is necessary to diversify the means of delivery by encouraging all types of house builder to contribute, including the Self-build and Custom build sector. To facilitate this, local planning authorities must provide a range of site sizes when allocating sites in their development plans and must consider the opportunities for Custom and Self-build options, including the use of Local Development Orders. 

Q13 Do you agree that to deliver the new housing Wales needs it is necessary for local planning authorities to allocate a range of site sizes, including small sites, to provide opportunities for all types of house builder to contribute to the delivery of the proposed housing? If not, please explain why

Q14 To ensure that small sites are allocated, should there be a requirement for a specific percentage (e.g. 20%) of sites to be small sites? If not, please explain why. 

Q15 Do you agree that the Custom and Self-build sector can play an important role in housing delivery, in particular when linked to the use of Local Development Orders and design codes? If not, please explain why.

NaCSBA has had a series of meetings with Welsh Government to discuss the sector’s benefits and challenges, and how it can be supported to deliver more homes in Wales.

It will be responding to the consultation officially, but strongly recommends that members respond too, to give a broader perspective on the sector.

You can get involved by responding to the Consultation Document before the 18 May deadline. The consultation is available online, and responses are invited by mail or email.

A key element of NaCSBA’s response will be to encourage the Welsh Government to give guidance on demand assessment in any its future Technical Advice Notes, including the use of the demand modelling tools.

Wales currently has one of the lowest levels over owner-commissioned housing in the UK. The Right to Build legislation has been laid down for Wales and it would only require the Welsh Assembly to vote to commence the legislation to extend the right to the people of Wales and those who would like to live there.

However, currently there are no plans for the devolved Welsh Government to do this.

Image credit: RonnyK/Pixabay

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