06 May, 2015
The Government has taken its first steps in legislating their Right to Build initiative by way of the Self Build and Custom Housing Building Act. The Act, that has recently received Royal Assent, aims to see an increase in the number of individuals building their own home or commissioning a builder to construct their home, in accordance with their own personal specifications. Individuals will have the power to choose exactly what they want from the colour of carpets and tiles in the kitchen to the layout, design, materials and energy performance. Whilst some RPs have already taken the plunge and built using modular off site construction methods and others being inundated with offers, what was once seen as an option only for a wealthy minority could soon be a normal part of the buying or renting process for individuals.
The new Act places an obligation on local authorities to create a public register of individuals and community groups who have shown an interest in land, for the purpose of self-build and custom build properties. The local authorities must then have regard to the register when carrying out any plans for planning, housing, regeneration and the disposal of any land owned by the council. However, the Act does not include the need for local authorities to offer suitable plots of land at market value to those on the register - although it is thought that this will inevitably be the subject of future legislation.
Developers will also be able to benefit from the Act when working alongside RPs by including the self build and custom build properties in to their projects which will count as contributing to their affordable housing obligations.
The introduction of this customer lead approach aims to see builds being completed more quickly whilst also increasing the housing supply by an additional 100,000 homes -potentially doubling the size of the self-build market over the next 10 years.