Self build house

Can self-build rebuild the housing market?

Since 2016 the ‘Right to Build’ legislation has required all English plan-making bodies to keep a register of those interested in building an owner commissioned home, and consider this evidence base when fulfilling their wider housing and planning duties.

While a welcome piece of legislation, the Right to Build – as it has become known – can be a double-edged sword.

It certainly put custom and self-build firmly on local authority agendas, giving the government’s ambition for sector growth an essential statutory base. But despite this, the lack of knowledge around planning and delivery is hampering activity, especially in the context of local authority planning departments.

This has resulted in a patchwork of provision across the country, with people’s aspirations to create a tailored home being limited by their postcode.

To remedy this, the Right to Build Task Force was established in 2017 as a professional body to curate and share specialist knowledge. It’s based on a Dutch model that helped double the number of self-build homes delivered in The Netherlands, and the focus is very much on building scale in the UK.

The Task Force operates as a consultancy, with a panel of experts from a range of disciplines supporting local authorities and other stakeholders, such as landowners, to build capacity.

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