Right to Build Day is in effect, and the National Custom and Self Build Association will ensure that the day marks the beginning of an end to postcode lottery imbalances regarding access to building plots. 

On Right to Build Day (30 October), councils across the UK must demonstrate whether they have granted planning permission for 18,000 plots for custom and self build homes.

The day marks a milestone for self and custom builders. It is the deadline for 336 planning authorities to meet the local demand for plots to match the number of people who signed up to the self build and custom build registers between April 1st and October 30th, 2016. 

(MORE: Read about the Right to Build registers)

Keeping The Pressure On

In 2018, the National Custom and Self Build Association (NaCSBA) reported on the worrying trend of local authorities appearing to minimise the number of registrations to the self build and custom build registers. 

A NaCSBA spokesperson said: “We’re working to ensure that 2020 is the Year of Self Build, and the year the imbalances start to get corrected. The crucial message though is that we still want genuine aspirational builders to sign their registers as they are vital to maintain a steady pressure find yours at NaCSBA’s www.selfbuildportal.org.”

Last month, however, the Right to Build Task Force – established by NaCSBA to support local authorities as they work to fulfil their right to build duties – reported the positive news that more than half of all local planning authorities (58%) now have, or are planning to, adopt local plan policies to support custom and self build housing delivery. 

Local plans are vital in helping authorities meet their legal duties under the Self-Build and Custom Housebuilding Act 2015, and the 76% of authorities which updated their local plans after the legislation was introduced now have a policy which supports custom and self build housing. This is up from 13% in April 2016. 

However, NaCSBA remains unsatisfied that only one in three local authorities have self build provision in adopted post-legislation plans, and that one in four emerging local plans make no provision for custom and self build housing. Most local plans do not provide meaningful support and contain only vague policies without enabling building development to come forward.

Mario Wolf, Director of the Right to Build Task Force, said: “The Right to Build Task Force works with a range of stakeholders, many of whom are local authorities, to facilitate Custom and Self Build, and welcomes the findings that nearly two-thirds of English authorities now have policy provision for Custom and Self Build. However, our research has also found that there is a long way to go.”

Moving Forwards

In each of the last three years NaCSBA has conducted a Freedom of Information request to establish how many people have signed up to the registers. It will do this again following Right to Build Day.

NaCSBA will track this activity to demonstrate which local authorities are performing in their duty to create housing diversity in the UK. It will also share this with the government. 

Homebuilding.co.uk will be following the outcomes of Right to Build Day and how local association information will affect those looking to self build or custom build in the UK.

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