Land promoter Leaper Land has put in a planning application for 50 serviced plots at Framlingham in Suffolk, enabling local people to build a custom or self build home of their own.

The proposals were submitted to East Suffolk Council in September 2020 following consultation with local residents, and anyone hoping to self build locally can view the application (Reference: DC/20/3326/OUT) on the councils planning website.

In particular, would be self and custom builders in the region are encouraged to leave positive statements of approval for the site, as all planning applications attract numerous objections.

The application was put together with the landowner, multi-award winning architect Pollard Thomas Edwards and planning consultancy Rural Solutions on the proposals. As a land promoter, Leaper Land works to support custom and self build schemes coming forward in rural locations, with Leaper supporting the landowner to create a viable opportunity of serviced plots.

The Framlingham site includes a range of local improvements, including work to make the Victoria Mill Road safer for a larger development, a new neighbourhood play area and improvements to drainage, footpaths and ecological enhancements. These include new native tree and hedge planting, with landscape design is by Collington Winter.

In the application Leaper Land stressed the urgent need for custom and self build housing in East Suffolk, with 410 people signed up to the East Suffolk self build register. Leaper has conducted wider research into appetite for custom and self build that indicates significant unmet demand locally.

Find East Suffolk’s Self Build Register on the Right to Build Portal

Custom and self build are individuals who purchase a serviced plot of land and act as their own developer – whether by employing their own design and build contractor or simply configuring certain aspects of the design or finish.

Building a custom or self build home means you have the unique freedom to design and build the home that best suits your needs and requirements. You can be as involved as you want to be in the process, from working with expert designers and contractors to build exactly what you want and need, to designing and managing the entire process.

Leaper Land has proactively addressed a range of questions on its website, such as how the proposal works with the local and neighbourhood plans, such as minimum indicative housing requirements.

The proposals also include affordable housing provision, including an allocated 17 homes (34% of the total), with a mix of discounted market price, shared ownership and affordable rent.

“Our research shows there is strong demand for Custom and Self-Build homes in and around Framlingham and so our proposal, if granted permission, will make a significant contribution to satisfying that demand. We are excited at the prospect of creating a beautiful new community which closely reflects the local vernacular while also providing a unique opportunity for individuals to get closely involved in the design of their new homes,” says Ben Marten, Director of Leaper Land.

 

Leaper Land's Child Okeford custom build site

Leaper Land has also applied for planning in Child Okeford in North Dorset 

If you have land that you think would be suitable for custom or self build, get in touch with Leaper Land.

Images: Pollard Thomas Edwards/Leaper Land

New research into the aspirations of those that want to self build has revealed that 1 in 3 adults in Great Britain are interested in self building at some point in the future.

Released to mark Right to Build Day on 30 October, the research reflects the appetite of the public for a home in which they have had a role in designing and commissioning.

NaCSBA and the Building Societies Association (BSA), who commissioned the research, wanted to get a fresh perspective of  self build intentions and the effect of COVID-19 on people’s feelings about their home.

In terms of people’s aspirations to self build, the data found that:

In response to COVID-19 and the way we see our homes, the data showed that:

Younger interest

NaCSBA and the BSA welcome the news that it is the youngest generation of 18-24 who are most interested in self building (48%), as they represent a new market. However, there is a disconnect, as it is the younger generations who tend to have the least amount of savings and less earning potential due to their age.

This marries with the perception that financing the build project is the most significant limiting factor preventing people from self building. 59% cited this as the most significant barrier.

To help meet the deposit gap, the 2019 Conservative party manifesto promised that the Help to Buy scheme would be extended to the sector, which NaCSBA continues to push for.

Greener building

Having a smaller environmental impact was also a key factor behind the ambition to self build, with a third (33%) of people identifying it as a core benefit of building a home. Almost 9 in 10 (89%) of people said it was important that their newly built home was energy efficient, when asked to envision building their own home.

Housing diversification is a core part of the Government’s wider housing strategy, as England has the lowest known rate of self-commissioned homes in the world. The Right to Build legislation requires councils to grant sufficient planning permissions to match the demand evidenced on their registers.

However, despite legislation in 2015 and 2016, the survey found that 83% of people had never heard of the registers held by local authorities of people who would like to build their own home. NaCSBA urges all those looking to self-build to sign up to their local Right to Build register via www.righttobuildportal.org.

THE PANDEMIC AND OUR HOMES

It is no surprise that the COVID-19 crisis has affected people’s perceptions of what they want out of their home, with the need for a home office being important for 39% of people.

Further to this, the lockdown inspired almost 1 in 3 British adults to consider making home improvements as they re-evaluated their living space (31%), while 1 in 20 (5%) considered going on to design and build their own home as a response to the crisis. Clear evidence that the pandemic has made many of us reassess what we want out of a home.

Andrew Baddeley-Chappell, NaCSBA’s CEO said, “The current lack of choice in our new homes market makes it different from every other country and every other consumer market. Only when there is diversity of choice will we get the diversity of homes that we want and need.”

Paul Broadhead, Head of Mortgages and Housing at the BSA said, “It’s great to see that there are so many aspiring self and customs builders, particularly among the youngest generation (18-24yrs). Increased levels of home working this year have led many to realise the importance of future proofing their homes to suit their individual needs.

“Mutual lenders are leading the way to help these self-build dreams become a reality, with 21 building societies currently lending to people building their own homes, they are the clear choice for many and are leaders in this space.”

For a full breakdown of the research download the powerpoint of findings.

Download an infographic of the findings & share

Building societies offering self and/or custom build products:

Bath Building Society Beverley Building Society
Chorley Building Society Darlington Building Society
Buckinghamshire BS Earl Shilton Building Society
Dudley Building Society Furness Building Society
Ecology Building Society Ipswich Building Society
Hanley Economic Building Society Mansfield Building Society
Loughborough Building Society Penrith Building Society
Melton Mowbray Building Society Saffron Building Society
Progressive Building Society Scottish Building Society (Scotland only)
Stafford Railway Building Society Swansea Building Society
Vernon Building Society

Start your self build journey by signing your local self build register – find yours at www.righttobuildportal.org

About the survey:

NaCSBA and the BSA commissioned YouGov to conduct the survey. Data is based on total sample size of 2017 adults, with the survey carried out online on 9th-11th October 2020. Figures are weighted and representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).

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Head to the National Self Build and Renovation Centre for its show on Friday 16-Sunday 18 October, which is one of the few shows still running a live event.

The National Self Build and Renovation Centre is a permanent exhibition space dedicated to self building, with permanent stands and educational exhibits helping you to navigate the process of self building or renovating a home.

The show is the ideal event to meet experts and see and test products in a spacious and relaxing setting – with measures in place to ensure social distancing requirements are met.

The show offers something for everyone, no matter what stage you are at with your project – whether you are still at the early planning stage or part way through.

The centre has experts on hand with offering a range of advice, from finding a plot and arranging your finances to deciding on the best building method for you. As well as lots of information about heating systems, green building and more.

 

National Self Build & Renovation Show:

When: Friday 16th – Sunday 18th October

Time: Fri & Sat: 9:00am – 5:00pm; Sun: 9:00am – 4:00pm

Where: NSBRC, Just off M4 Junction 16, Swindon, SN5 8UB

Tickets: Free in advance, £12 on the door.

Get your free tickets

 

CREATING A COVID SAFE EVENT

Special measures have been put in place to ensure the NSBRC and show safeguard its visitors, exhibitors and staff. It is working hard to ensure it complies with current guidelines and as such this show will be a little different from previous events.

In order to maintain social distancing, the centre is reducing the capacity of the event and requires all attendees to book in advance on this occasion. Tickets are limited to a maximum of 2 adult members per household, and children must remain with their parents at all times.

Additional measures have been implemented for the safety of all, which will be explained on the day.

On 19 and 20 September, Bicester-based self and custom build development site, Graven Hill, will be talking all things self-build at Build It Live.

The event is going virtual this year, taking place entirely online. From the comfort of your own home, you’ll experience a whole weekend full of inspiration, interviews and top tips from a range of experts.

Graven Hill has a long-running partnership with hosts, Build It, having opened the Build It Education Hub in November 2019. Home to the site’s Marketing Suite, the Hub is a self-build project itself, giving visitors the opportunity to learn about the various aspects of building their own home, including product choice, design, and construction methods.

These are just some of the many topics Graven Hill will be exploring during the virtual event, with attendees able to book live one-to-one chats or video calls with the team throughout. Whether you want to discuss plot availability, financial options, or just have a burning question, the Graven Hill experts will point you in the right direction to making your dream home a reality.

There will be an interview with self-builders, Zakima and Sam Omotayo, as well as Graven Hill’s managing director, Karen Curtin, at 1.10pm on the Saturday. They will be speaking about why Graven Hill was right for them, their self-build process, and offering advice to prospective self-builders. This will also include a live Q&A, so attendees can ask any questions they may have to people who have experienced self-building first-hand.

Self Builders Sam and Zakima Omotayo

Self Builders Sam and Zakima Omotayo

Zakima and Sam, said: “Being able to share our self-building journey with an audience of like-minded people is something we’re really looking forward to. Our experience at Graven Hill has been so rewarding, and if we’re able to inspire others to take the plunge then that’s the cherry on the cake.

“Self-building is an option that people rarely consider in the UK, but we’d love to see that change. We now live in a home that reflects our style and needs, and we are very happy.”

For those unsure about whether self-building is right for them, the Graven Hill team will also be able to explain the site’s custom build new homes. These take the ease of a conventional new build and combine it with the personality of a self-build. Perfect for people who want a unique home without the heavy lifting.

Eligible for Help to Buy, custom build new homes are also accessible to all, including those aiming to get a foot on the housing ladder.

Karen Curtin, managing director of Graven Hill, said: “The UK has yet to fully embrace the concept of self and custom building, and Build It Live gives us the opportunity to spread the word about its potential, as well as quash certain misconceptions. At Graven Hill, our aim is to provide an accessible route to building your dream home, something that is often dismissed due to time and cost.

“This year’s event may be virtual, but we’re certain it’ll inspire a whole new set of budding self-builders to give creating a home that fits their every need a try.”
Whether you’re looking to start a self-build project of your own or are just curious about what Graven Hill has to offer, make sure to book your place at Build It Live. For exclusive offers, speak to the site’s sales team during the show.

Get free tickets to Build It Live Online

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is investigating four of the UK’s largest housebuilders following “troubling evidence” in the way that leaseholds were sold.

The action concerns Barratt Developments, Countryside Properties, Persimmon Homes and Taylor Wimpey, following the sale of private newbuilds as leaseholds as opposed to the traditional freeholds. Buyers allege that the leaseholds are unfair in that the grounds rents due on the homes can escalate.

The housebuilders are all happy to work with the CMA to help ascertain the facts.

Andrea Coscelli, chief executive of the CMA, said: “It is unacceptable for housing developers to mislead or take advantage of homebuyers.

“Everyone involved in selling leasehold homes should take note: if our investigation demonstrates that there has been mis-selling or unfair contract terms, these will not be tolerated.”

It is believed that millions of such leasehold homes were sold across the UK. As well as annual ground rent being levied, some leases charge owners for permission to extend or make improvements to their own home.

The situation has been complicated in some instances by the leaseholds being treated as a commodity, sold on to third parties to be managed, who have then increased fees.

Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick said: “Shameful practices of the kind set out by the CMA have no place in our housing market and we are going to put an end to them.

“I want to see homeowners who have been affected by crippling ground rents swiftly obtain the justice and redress they deserve.

“Developers and freeholders must rectify the problems and ensure these disgraceful practices never happen again.”

What are the implications for self build?

Most self build homes are freehold properties, where the owner also owns the land the home is built on. But with the growth in custom build, more and more serviced plots will be delivered, and these should ideally be on a freehold basis.

However, for many community-led housing models, the homes are held by a body that ensures affordability or acts as a landowner for the group, such as with the Community Land Trust model. In this instance, these homes will be leasehold, which is perfectly acceptable as the body holds the land in trust, to secure the advantages.

Community-led housing bodies have, and continue to, lobby government to ensure that they are exempt from any new rules or laws that limit the sale of houses on leases, with Community Land Trusts now exempt.

If you are planning to build as a community, find out more about the National Community Land Trust Networks campaign on leasehold reform. 

Image: by Shahid Abdullah from Pixabay

The National Custom and Self Build Association (NaCSBA) has released its final analysis of the practice around local authorities and their activity. The data follows its initial announcement of the early data, released in January, that revealed that councils were restricting people from signing the Right to Build registers with a series of “dirty tricks”.

The final analysis reflects the most complete set of data NaCSBA has had access to to date, which represents a 97% response, based on responses from 317 of the 327 planning authorities in England. The overall number of authorities has decreased by 9 than 2018, due to merged authorities.

Key findings

Extrapolating this data to reflect the situation across England, NaCSBA estimates that the number of new individual entries on registers to be 11,420.

This is 5% more than the 10,878, with individual entries up by 8%, while group entries are down. This is the first year-on-year increase we have seen since the registers were launched and a welcome increase against 2018. This is especially so in light of the increasing barriers to joining registers, which are suppressing demand.

NaCSBA also estimates that the overall numbers on the registers is now at 45,655. This is up by 8,499 from the 37,156 last year but is considerably less than the 11,420 new additions.

This will be largely due to the removal of existing entries from registers – a practice that NaCSBA does not accept. The cumulative impact of these changes has been to remove over 9,000 entries from registers. Without such actions it estimates the totals on registers would be over 55,000 by now

Freedom of Information Request

In addition the data demonstrated that:

Andrew Baddeley-Chappell, NaCSBA CEO commented, “The wider picture that is emerging of local authority activity with regards the Right to Build suggests that the 30 October 2019 deadline appears to be driving activity by some local authorities to manage registers down rather than manage delivery up.

“However, outside the registers the picture does appear more positive, as self and custom build becomes referenced in more local plans, but there is much still to do”.

NaCSBA is calling on Government to act before bad practice becomes too embedded. This is especially important because the multi-year process means that there is already a large amount of manipulated information within the system already. This needs to be addressed, or allowed to work its way through.

Right to Build Background

Right to Build legislation requires all planning authorities in England (including National Parks) to maintain a register of individuals and groups seeking to acquire land on which to build their home.

Entries onto the register are recorded in annual base periods ending 30 October each year. Local authorities have 3 years after the end of the base period to provide sufficient suitable development permissions.

The first (shortened) base period ran from 1 April 2016 to 30 October 2016 meaning the obligation must have been met by permissions granted between 31 October 2016 and 30 October 2019.

 

Maps for the Freedom of Information and the final report can be accessed in the Statistics area of the Library.

NaCSBA members can also access the full suite of data by emailing media@nacsba.org.uk

 

NaCSBA urges anyone wanting to build, including groups, to sign up to use the registers, as they remain a crucial route of evidencing demand to local authorities. 

Sign up for your Right to Build

 

 

The last few plots are available at Ssassy Property’s Springfield Meadows development in Southmoor, offering a low-carbon opportunity to custom build your own home. The development in Oxfordshire is made up of 25 homes, with 15 sold, seven reserved and the last few homes available for purchase.

The homes are being built using Greencore Construction’s Biond System, an offsite timber frame method that uses a hemp-lime, which is capable of delivering high performance, zero carbon homes. The homes are all set on generous plots with private gardens and shared outdoor spaces, including a pond and orchard. 15 of the homes on the site are custom build, with nine affordable homes.

Ssassy’s commitment to green technology underpins its projects, and makes Greencore Construction an excellent partner for its green build method. The UK Green Building Council states that roughly 40% of the UK’s entire carbon footprint comes from the built environment, with half of this stemming from energy used in buildings and infrastructure, such as roads and railways.

This makes it imperative that new homes should embrace greener methods, that contribute less both during the construction and usage of the building. Check out its guide to climate change in relation to new building and review the carbon impact of the decisions you make on your own project.

Springfield Meadow’s green credentials earned it One Planet Living Global Leader status by Bioregional, who stated:

“The use of an innovative construction system using natural materials like hemp will create an approximately 90% reduction in carbon emissions due to construction compared to a standard home in the UK of a similar size.”

Ian Pritchett, Managing Director of Greencore, explains the build system. “The timber frame building system is insulated with Lime-Hemp and natural fibre insulation. These natural materials absorb carbon dioxide during growth.

“We also build using the Passivhaus principles to reduce energy use, while integrated solar panels in the roof supply as much energy as the homes requires over the course of a year. To complement this, we incorporate nature as much as possible through working with the Wildlife Trust, provide an electric car club and generally support the new community to live as sustainably as possible.”

Have you got land that could Ssassy Property’s next custom build site? If so get in touch! 

 

To start your own dream project sign up to the Right to Build, and if you are not sure what custom build means check out our Routes to Building a Home page for insight.

Land promoter Leaper Land has submitted an outline planning application for a 65-plot site on the edge of the village of Child Okeford. Routes to home ownership at Child Okeford include self-build, custom-build and custom-choice, with the custom-choice built to a shell stage, at which point it is handed over to the purchaser.

Routes to ownership at Child Okeford:
Self-build individuals buy a serviced plot, with details of what is allowed to be built set out in a design code and with a palette of materials to choose from. As the design code is pre-approved for planning, permission is guaranteed as long as your build meets the conditions set out in it. Buyers can also choose to project-manage themselves or commission a developer or housebuilder to build the home.
Custom-build with this model, you buy the plot, with the design code setting the context, and contract directly with a developer to build the house. On this scheme, this route offers less of flexibility as there is a choice of designs with pre-prepared layouts and specification options that are approved by planning.
Custom-choice this option involves a developer building your home to the wind-and-watertight structure shell, at which point you take over to commission the remaining jobs. Buyers will pick from a range of interior layouts and specifications.

Child Okeford custom build homes

Street view of Child Okeford scheme

While the self and custom build routes offer stamp duty savings and exemption from the Community Infrastructure Levy, custom choice enables people to access regular mortgages and Help to Buy. This extends the site to a greater number of buyers.

The homes are controlled by a design code, which is quite strict as it sets the context for the development, in response to the rural nature of the site. This gives the buyers choice, such as a range of materials, shown below, but by controlling this through a design code it ensure the designs are in keeping with the village.

Material palette

Child Okeford custom build homes – material palette showing choice for exterior materials

“Design codes are really important as they offer reassurance to both the planners and the local community that something of quality will be built. So residents can choose from a palette of materials, for example, all of which could be seen on buildings in the village, helping the scheme at Child Okeford fit in,” said Ben Marten, Director of Leaper Land.

What is a land promoter?

Bringing forwards land for development is costly and time consuming, which is where a land promoter comes in. They act on behalf of the landowner, using their skills and knowledge to secure a planning application.

As such, land promoters can help unlock small parcels of land that otherwise might not come forward. This may be because these sites are too small for big developers to be concerned about, but too costly or time consuming for an unexperienced landowner to bring forward by themselves.

Therefore, they are an ideal solution if you are a farmer or other small landowner who sees potential in their site, but are not sure how to proceed. Typically, their costs are based on results, which makes them a good choice for such landowners.

If you are planning to build, sign up to your local Right to Build register – you can find out the details on the Right to Build Portal.

Anyone interested in the development can register their interest with Leaper Land.

Once planning is granted they will be in touch with more information and expected times for plots to come to market.

If you have land that you think would be suitable for custom or self build, get in touch with Leaper Land.

Images: Pollard Thomas Edwards/Leaper Land

Custom Build Homes has released The Furlong, a site of five detached oak-framed homes in the Herefordshire countryside, with plots ranging from £145,000 to £210,000.

The homes at the Furlong are a selection of oak-framed homes with generous living spaces and gardens. The properties all include stand-alone garages and the opportunity to create a home office, a crucial element of modern life in a post-Coronavirus era.

In terms of customisation, buyers have the opportunity to feed into the internal design of their new home. Consequently, people the flexibility of designing a layout to suit their lifestyle, both now and in the future.

The development is brought to market by custom build enabler, Custom Build Homes, together with support from specialist oak frame T.J. Crump Oakwrights’ and award-winning A1-rated building contractor G.P. Thomas Construction.

As a custom build enabler, Custom Build Homes is bringing on new places where people can design and create their own homes, such as these customisable homes.

Custom Build Homes Aymestrey

 

The development of three- to five-bedroom homes is on the southern edge of the Mortimer Forest, with easy access to the countryside, as well as the towns of Leominster and Ludlow.

Ryan Blair, Sales Director at Custom Build Homes, said: “With our housing stock under the spotlight after a period of lockdown, never has it been more important to listen to what people need from their homes and deliver new opportunities that respond to those needs.

“This development will enable us to support new homeowners to live better by design and we are looking forward to supporting them throughout their custom build journey.”

The team behind Homebuilding & Renovating has launched a Virtual Summer Event on the 24 to 25 July, bringing you the best bits from a self build and homes show, but from the safety of your home.

Just because live events and shows are currently on hold due to the Coronavirus crisis, it doesn’t mean that you have to put your project on hold. With the Homebuilding & Renovating Virtual Summer Show everything you need for your home project is just a click away.

Homebuilding and Renovating has taken the decision to transfer everything that people know and love about its Homebuilding and Renovating Shows and transfer it to the digital world.

Secure your place today – for FREE

What does a virtual event look like?

The team has worked to ensure the online event isn’t just a website. Instead, the Virtual Summer Event offers you all the things you would see at a live Homebuilding & Renovating Show.

Visitors can click through and virtually browse what’s available in the auditorium, then select a category of interest to be transported into the virtual exhibition hall, containing all the exhibitor stands within your chosen category.

From there you can take a look around, watch demonstration videos, download brochures, live chat and do all the things you would at a live event, but from the comfort of your own home.

One of the features our visitors love about our events are the informative seminars and masterclasses, they’re always jam packed with people like you finding out information delivered by our expert panel of Builders, Architects, Planners and experienced developers.

The virtual event is no exception, you will be able to attend sessions about planning advice, kitchen and bathroom design, how to find land and much more. We will be bringing you a varied timetable across 4 theatres, where you can join as many sessions as you want, and even dip in and out over the 2 days, plus the content will be available for 4 weeks after the event.

Keep your project on track by attending the virtual event, for free, over 2 days on the 24th and 25th July.

The live show runs for two days, and the platform will stay live with videos and other content for four weeks afterwards, too.