10 May 2012

On Monday 14 May, a high level delegation of around 40 government and industry representatives is travelling to Almere in Netherlands, home to Europe’s largest self-build project where 800 self-build homes have been built on publicly-owned land reclaimed from the sea. 


Those attending include several pioneering local councils and some of the UK’s most active housing associations – many of whom are keen to be involved in some sort of large scale self build pilot project. Leading the delegation will be Housing Minister, Grant Shapps, together with Kevin McCloud, Presenter of Channel 4’s ‘Grand Designs’.

Almere, near Amsterdam, is the largest low-cost self-build experiment in Europe, which has grown rapidly in recent years. The trip will also include a detailed briefing on the project from the Almere planning team and a reception at the British Ambassador’s residence in The Hague.

Mr Shapps is also expected to announce that he will shortly be launching a new £30 million fund to provide short-term finance for projects similar to those at Almere.   

These types of projects have been held back in the UK because of reluctance by lenders to provide finance. Self-build groups will now be able to bid for a slice of the cash to partially fund land acquisition and early development costs with money being repaid on completion of the project.

Read the Almere Case Study


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