Right to build makes progress with new law and funding for serviced plots

The self-build and custom-build homes sector took a step forward this week with the progress of new legislation and the release of the latest phase of a £150m government fund to help custom builders.

The self-build and custom housebuilding bill finished its passage through parliament this week, and will receive royal assent later this month. The private member’s bill, introduced by Conservative MP Richard Bacon, requires local councils to establish a register of people and community groups wanting serviced plots of land for homes, and to take this register into account in its built environment decision-making. The bill allows volume housebuilders to include self-build and custom-build projects as contributing towards their affordable housing obligations, working in partnership with a registered social landlord.

The bill has had strong support from the coalition government, which has already initiated a trial of a register with 11 vanguard local authorities under its right to build approach.

At the same time, the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) has opened the second bidding round for its £150m fund to help provide more serviced plots for custom builders. The fund is open to small builders and community groups as short-term loans to help prepare land so it can be sold as individual plots to people looking to build their own home.

Housing minister Brandon Lewis has given the green light for the first three bids to proceed to the next stage of assessment. Subject to successful completion, three small builders in St Helens, South Norfolk and West Lindsey will receive a share of £850,000 to help provide 41 plots for self builders.

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