Why building your dream home is about to become easier

Kasmira Jefford
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Fans of Channel Four’s Grand Designs who dream of creating a home from scratch will be one step closer to doing so tomorrow when a new laws encouraging self-build and custom housebuilding come into force.

From 1 April, councils in England will have to keep a register of everyone seeking land to build their own home or who want to have a house custom built for them.

The measures, set out in the Self-Build and Custom Housebuilding Act, are in addition to those in the Housing and Planning Bill, which requires local authorities to make sure they have enough “shovel ready” plots to meet local demand.

Michael Holmes, chair of National Custom & Self Build Association (NaCSBA) said: “This is great news for the seven million adults who say they would like to build their own home."

An Ipsos Mori poll commissioned by the NaCSBA last year, found that despite millions of people wanting to build their own home, only 12-14,000 will succeed due to the limited supply of individual building plots available.

In the UK, just over eight per cent of homes are self or custom built compared to 56 per cent Germany and over 40 per cent in France and the US.

Holmes continued: "Essentially, this is a demand assessment tool that will enable local authorities to establish how many people want an individually designed home and therein how they should make provision for this in their planning policies and ensure sufficient building plots are given planning permission."

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