Planning Permission for Self-Build Sites: Opportunity Vs Demand

Decoration Decoration

Councils are failing to deliver enough self-build plots to keep up with demand but the likelihood of obtaining planning permission is higher where all or part of a site is made available for them

Policy & Legislation
Author Brigid Taylor
Decoration Decoration

According to the latest Self-Build and Custom Housebuilding data, councils are failing to deliver enough plots to keep up with demand. The number of planning permissions granted for suitable plots is below the number of people signing up to the Right to Build Register.

The Self-Build and Custom Housebuilding Act 2015 brought in new rights and responsibilities for this alternative model of housing delivery. Yet awareness about the way these fit within the planning system is still quite low. Key points to note are:

  • Local Authorities are required to maintain a register of those who wish to custom or self build their own home.
  • The register then forms an evidence base around the level of demand for Self and Custom Build plots.
  • Local Authorities must deliver suitable permissioned plots to meet that level of demand.

The National Custom & Self Build Association (NaCSBA) dispute the accuracy of the Government’s data, claiming there are ‘many discrepancies’ across the various councils. The NaCSBA also believe that councils could be doing more to promote their registers and where suitable sites are coming forward, permission should be easier to obtain. If awareness was what it should be, the shortfall between demand and opportunity could be even more significant than current Government figures suggest.

Councils are struggling to deliver their housing targets and do not necessarily have the land to give but the Government is reviewing legislation to help with progress. A new Help to Build initiative is underway to make this area of the market more accessible to first time buyers. Furthermore, where new Local Plans are coming forward, many local authorities are looking to introduce policies to identify Custom and Self Build plots as part of larger housing allocations.

In the meantime, councils are still obliged to meet the level of demand via smaller ‘windfall’ sites, presenting an opportunity for landowners and SME developers. The likelihood of obtaining planning permission is higher where all or part of a site is made available for self-build plots, which should encourage more land to come forward – a positive outcome for everyone involved!

If you would like more information on this topic in relation to a potential site or for assistance with gaining planning permission for building your own home, then do get in touch.

Related Articles