The Self Build Wales scheme has officially launched this week, in a bid to remove the barriers facing self build and custom build.

Self Build Wales is a £210m scheme that will help aspiring homeowners with funding to build their own home. Whether you’re a first-time buyer or looking for a bigger home for your family, Self Build Wales is designed to appeal to as many people as possible.

(MORE: Self Build: The Complete Guide)

The groundbreaking scheme is reported by the Welsh government to be the first of its kind on the basis that it provides a complete package of financial support, access to land, and planning permission.

How Does Self Build Wales Work?

The core of the scheme is the so-called plot shop, which involves local authorities such as Swansea Council – which trialled the scheme last year – identifying plot opportunities and selling them with planning permission already in place.

(MORE: Finding a Plot)

The scheme is being financed by the Welsh government, with funding to be administered by the Development Bank of Wales. 

Applicants only need to pay 25% of the cost of a plot, and no repayments need to be made on the loan until the house is completed and mortgaged.

Swansea

Swansea Council took part in a pilot of Self Build Wales in 2019

In the event of multiple applications being made for plots, each application will be reviewed by the relevant local authority based on its priorities for the area. 

Andrew Baddeley-Chappell, chief executive of the National Custom and Self-Build Association (NaCSBA), told Homebuilding & Renovating: “Self Build Wales addresses an important challenge for self builders: the ability to build when they have a limited deposit, and it adds certainty by providing plots with agreed planning permission and set prices.

“We very much hope that it will be a springboard for self building in Wales and that we’ll see a number of wonderful additional homes as a result.” 

What are the Benefits of Self Build Wales?

Not only does the scheme make it easier for people to build their own home, but it provides a route for people to live in their local area who haven’t previously been able to afford to buy there.

Moreover, older and disabled people are afforded the opportunity to custom build a home that meets their health requirements.

Hannah Blythyn, deputy minister for housing, launched the scheme this week. She said: “We know finding the land, navigating planning consents and being able to afford to self build while covering the cost of living can be real barriers. Self Build Wales removes these barriers, and makes it far easier for people to build their own home. It will also be a significant boost to building firms across Wales.

“While we are investing significantly in building new social and affordable homes, we also want to help far more people who want to build their own homes – doing so should not be the preserve of the most privileged households.”

Self Build Wales is also expected to help Welsh small and medium-sized (SME) house builders. 

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