The new National Planning Policy Framework requires councils to identify a supply of housing land to provide 5 years worth of housing and incorporate this into their local plan.How does Self Build fit into this equation?

Cheshire East’s Interim Planning Policy on the release of Housing Land which has recently been put out to consultation and identifies additional land to meet the requirement for the 5 year supply. It fails to make any mention of self build even though there is talk of self build making a significant contribution to the supply of new housing.  I recently submitted the following comments regarding this.

“As part of it’s Strategic Housing Market assessment has the council made any assessment of the need for self build housing. In particular on larger development sites setting an allocation of self build plots (as with the 35% affordable requirement) whose infrastructure will be provided as part of the wider development. This would give local people the opportunity to build their own properties to suit their specific needs and should help people buy into the idea of development in their local area rather than opposing it.

The Housing minister has very recently said that he wants self build to take off and make a significant contribution to the supply of new housing. If this is to happen then self build needs to move from simple one off replacement dwelling which by and large it has done to a strategy where self build forms part of a planned development with new plots served by new infrastructure.”

Self Build has the potential to provide more affordable, better quality and more sustainable dwellings than the market is currently offering but it can only do this if local authorities plan and enable their development. Otherwise self build will largely remain the preserve of  individuals building detached houses on existing plots largely as replacement dwellings.


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