Word from Grant Shapps, the Housing Minister, of positive news for self-builders. He’s announcing this Wednesday (5th Jan) the establishment of a ‘working party’ to help ease the several barriers that exist preventing more of you getting involved in taking control of your own housing destinies and building your own home.

The working party will consist of representatives from the National Self-build Association (NASBA) and Shapps meeting with the aim to ease the problems surrounding lack of available building plots and finance. No details at this stage but one expects potential amendments to the Localism Bill to perhaps make more individual plots available.

Shapps said: “Building your own home should not be the preserve of a privileged few – I want to break down the barriers that many aspiring self-builders often come up against.

That’s why I’ve asked experts at the National Self Build Association to work with us to develop an action plan to make it easier for people to build their own homes, whether on their own or as part of a community effort to build a whole new neighbourhood.

“But the action plan will also look at how more people can be helped to make the most of the opportunities to build their own homes. For example, the new Community Right to Build will put power in the hands of local people to give the go-ahead to new developments in their area – and could open the door to a whole new generation of self-builders.

“This will give a real boost to those who have long dreamed of building their own home, but have never been able to do so. I want these people to build their New Year’s resolution with bricks and mortar, and make 2011 the year they make their housebuilding dreams a reality.”

One can only speculate about how extra finance will be provided but there is no doubt that the current situation is pretty dire for both mortgages and land. In my view there is very little in the Community Right to Build programme to help regular self-builders find land and get started but I am pretty excited about any new initiatives that help the situation for self-builders.

  • Leigh Wright

    I hope this will mean that the local planners will have to look at each proposal on its merits, alongside planning policies, as I have found the policies can be inflexible. Any help to individuals to assist in self building can only be a good thing.

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