Stoke and Oldham welcome self-builders

The government has declared Stoke, Oldham and nine other areas across the country as self-build friendly zones, where help will be given to aspiring custom or self-builders to get projects off the ground. Under the government’s Right to Build initiative, within the 11 areas aspiring custom or self-builders will be able to register their interest with the council, who will then be required to offer suitable serviced plots for them that are for sale at market value. Those looking to build will still need to go through the normal planning application process.

The initiative is the latest move by government to help break down some of the barriers to self-build in the UK, which were most recently explored by the Wiki House 4.0 demonstration project at London’s Building Centre.

The 11 areas are:

  • Cherwell District Council, which is committed to deliver 2,000 custom-build homes over the next 10 years
  • South Cambridgeshire District Council, which will bring forward at least 100 plots of land for custom builders and begin selling land from January 2015
  • Teignbridge District Council, which will be implementing a ‘5% self-build’ policy in their newly adopted local plan so 5% of all new homes in the area are delivered by custom and self-builders
  • Shropshire Council, which will bring forward 6ha of land for self-builders by linking with Stoke Council and local social landlords to find suitable plots
  • Oldham Metropolitan Borough Council, which will begin bringing land forward for sale this autumn, using formerly-developed council-owned sites
  • West Lindsey District Council, who will bring forward previously developed public land
  • Exmoor and Dartmoor National Park Authorities, which will explore how local self-builders can be helped while protecting important countryside
  • Pendle Borough Council, which will deliver self-build plots in the area and explore how this could be used to further deliver affordable homes
  • Sheffield City Council, which will deliver over 800 self-build sites and look to support groups planning their own custom builds
  • South Norfolk District Council, which will work with Saffron Housing Association to deliver 40-60 custom build plots
  • Stoke-on-Trent City Council, which will bring forward 72 ha of land for local self-builders.

The new measure is in line with proposals included in a Private Member’s Bill currently going through parliament by MP for South Norfolk Richard Bacon. This would place a duty on local councils to keep a register of individuals who have expressed an interest in finding land for their self-build projects.

This first wave of areas will form part of a consultation on Right to Build. It will be decided whether the changes should be extended across the country later this year.

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