Demand for Self-Build Property Is Up by More Than 80% in the UK

New figures from the National Custom and Self Build Association (NaCSBA) show an unprecedented demand for self-build properties in Britain. Over 33,000 people have signed up to Right to Build registers across the UK in a bid to secure plots of land. This is an 80% increase from this time last year, when 18,000 people applied for a place on the registers.

Right to Build legislation dictates that it is the responsibility of local authorities to grant permission for enough serviced building plots to meet this growing demand. The deadline for them to consent to the 33,000 serviced plots is 31st October 2020, with roughly half of these to be granted by October 2019. The Right to Build registers are now in their second year, with almost 18,000 additional people signing up through the NaCSBA’s Right to Build portal. Local authorities removed roughly 3,000 of these applicants from the registers throughout the year, due to several reasons: people finding their own plots, councils applying local connection tests, and the introduction of a joining fee for the registers.

The registers are designed to help councils to assess the demand for serviced plots, because it is the council’s duty to consider how many people would like to design and build their own homes in the borough. This provides a useful insight into future construction proposals and helps local authorities with their long-term planning functions.

Research from the Building Societies Association (BSA) found that 53% of people would like to design and build their own homes. As awareness of self-build property grows, applicant numbers on the registers is expected to reflect the BSA findings. As a result of this, NaCSBA is arranging a national consumer campaign in 2018 to raise awareness of Right to Build registers and the surrounding legislation.

Richard Bacon, chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Self-Build, said:
“The evidence does not follow through that there are several hundred people on a register in one council area, while a neighbouring one only has double figures. Clearly, more needs to be done to promote the registers and really make them work as an evidence tool in local planning, as we know that half of the adult population wants to design and build their dream home at some point in their lives.”
He suggests that despite the large numbers added to the register this year, efforts to promote the scheme vary greatly between councils, and some local authorities can do more to raise awareness.

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