12 Custom Build homes come to Essex in new collaboration

Pound Lane CGI

In a collaboration between architects and specialist custom build developer Unboxed Homes, a new development will bring 12 Custom Build plots to Laindon in Essex, with homes delivered by 2023.

The project is breaking new ground in that it is co-funded by a team of architects, AOC, Mae and Pitman Tozer in addition to Unboxed Homes, reflecting the practices’ commitment to the route.

The 1.2 hectare site features three, four and five-bedroom houses, and Basildon Council unanimously approved the development at Pound Lane following Homes England securing the original planning permission.

There are three designs available on site, the PTA S6 House by Pitman Tozer, MyHouse by Mae and the littleBIG House by AOC, and homes come with a range of options to allow people to customise them to their needs and budgets. This includes options around the layout and number of bedrooms and bathrooms, fixtures and finishes and an optional garage.

Purchasing a home at shell, where just the external structure is completed, is also an option, with the purchaser commissioning the remaining trades to complete the home themselves.

Prices for the homes start from £376,000, with the homes set in an appealing wooded location with a private access road leading to a central communal space.

Gus Zogolovitch of Unboxed Homes said, “Custom build is all about creating choice and value and reducing waste. We think people want to have a greater say in the way they live and that’s what we are doing. Our customers will get to choose from literally thousands of options to get the house that is perfect for them and their family,.”

Register your interest in Pound Lane, today

Sign Basildon Council’s Self and Custom Build register

 

Grand Designs: The Street is returning to Graven Hill and is looking for self builders to take part

grand designs the Street

Following an incredibly positive response, Grand Designs has announced it will be planning a second return of its The Street programme, and is looking for people wanting to build at Graven Hill to take part.

There is a range of plots available at Graven Hill, but the series will be looking for people interested in commissioning or self building a home from scratch – get in touch with the Graven Hill sales office to find out more about the range of plots available for the series, which will be filmed over the coming years.

In the first series, Kevin McCloud followed the pioneers at Graven Hill – some of the very first builders to build on the site, although it was actually a self-builder that was not taking part that was the first resident on the development to move in.

Discover Kevin’s favourite bits from Series One

In the series, the plots had a flexible approach to their design that gave the owners the freedom to design a house that suited their needs and reflected their tastes – creating a vibrant and interesting streetscape.

At Graven Hill there is a range of different areas – some with a relaxed design brief, and some with a more limited choice of exterior materials to help create uniformity. The design parameters for each area and each plot are set out in the master plan and in individual plot passports, like the one, below.

Catch up on Grand Designs Channel 4.

LivedIN Custom Build brings 10 serviced plots to market in Norfolk

Ingoldisthorpe Pond

An exciting new opportunity has come to market for anyone wanting to Custom Build in Norfolk, with a 10-plot custom build development in the coastal village of Ingoldisthorpe.

Custom build enabler LivedIN has worked with the landowner to create a legacy community for the village, with homes designed by architects Project Orange, and landscape architects AREA.

Being Custom Build, the plots are serviced, with the infrastructure undertaken by LivedIN, and buyers manage the build process themselves. Although pre-designed, purchasers are able to customise their home from a range of choices, both externally and internally. The plots for the houses, which range between 3-5 bedroom, are currently available via Sowerbys, starting from £150,000 for the plot with the smallest house of 136 sqm.

Custom Build at Ingoldisthorpe

Custom Build approaches vary site-by-site, but for buyers at Ingoldisthorpe the following process has been set out:

  • Serviced plots are being sold with planning permission (ready for homeowners to start building their own home),
  • homeowners do not need to hire an architect to design the houses – the homes are pre-designed by award-winning architects Project Orange,
  • homeowners are able to customise elements of each home, following the design code (see the picture, below, showing the palette of materials), which outlines how the appearance of each home can be altered, in terms of windows, sky lights, cladding options and solar panels. The interiors can be open plan or more contained options.

This route to home ownership offers choice and flexibility that’s not typically available in the open market, but takes a lot of the legwork out of the process of commissioning your own home from scratch. By pre-designing the houses and allowing some flexibility, homeowners get the best of both worlds. It also means that the development has been designed as a whole, fitting the bespoke contemporary designs into the local rural setting.

Part of the ambition in creating a legacy community is about enhancing the village setting, and the houses sit around a new village green with an extended farm pond, creating a new heart for the community.

The houses are set out around an enhanced village pond

Charlie de Bono, Director at LivedIN, said, “Custom Build is about giving homeowners more choice – giving control back to those who know best how their house should look and work. And we are determined that choice should also go hand in hand with good design.

“Carefully considered designs ensure that the individual houses are an excellent fit, not just for their owners but also that they work well with their neighbours and local communities. The architects have expertly blended an imaginative contemporary design with an understanding of the local vernacular and traditional features. The resulting designs can be customised to individual preferences within a common style that tie the houses together into a cohesive whole.”

Build It’s Self Build Education House launches at Graven Hill

Build It Education House

On Right to Build Day on 30 October, Build It’s Self Build Education House was opened at Graven Hill – the UK’s largest Custom and Self Build site. Officially opened by Richard Bacon, MP and Right to Build Task Force Ambassador, the house is a permanent resource created by Build It magazine for anyone planning their own project.

Build It’s Self Build Education House has been created in partnership with Graven Hill, which will eventually have 1,900 homes onsite, as a unique resource that gives aspiring builders an insight into the process of creating your own home, and importantly, linking the decision made in the journey to financial consideration. This helps illustrate that self builders can create an amazing home for a realistic budget on a modest plot.

As visitors explore the Education House, informational graphics guide them through the magazine’s Self Build journey and the practical choices they can expect to face on their own projects – regardless of where they are building. Visitors can also see cut-outs of key structural details and pick up a complete handbook taking them step-by-step through the process of designing and building the Education House, together with a free copy of Build It magazine.

NaCSBA recognises that one of the most significant barriers to people fulfilling their dreams of Self Building is a lack of knowledge, with NaCSBA’s Self Build Portal website (www.selfbuildportal.org.uk) an important source of objective advice. Consequently, it welcomes the opening of the Self Build Education House as a valuable resource for anyone interested in Self Building, helping them balance decisions with budgets to get the best possible outcome.

Chris Bates, Editor of Build It said: “Build It’s Self Build Education House seeks to inspire the next generation of Self Builders and demystify the process of creating your own individual home. The Education House empowers people to access the Self Build route by helping them understand their design, build and fit-out choices and equipping them with the knowledge they need to achieve a better quality, better designed and better value-for-money home.”

The architect's drawing for the Build It Self Build Education House
The ICF basement by Nudura goes in
Roof joists craned into place
The Build It team on a visit

Right to Build Day 30 October – a reckoning for English local authorities and self build plot provision

Right to Build Day

The 30th October 2019 is a crucial date for all English local authorities as it is the first date ever that they have to demonstrate that they have granted enough permissions for the 18,000 people that signed up to the Right to Build in its first year of existence. These are the people that signed their local self build registers, held by their council, to demonstrate that they were interested in building their own home.

The registers are a little complicated in how they work, but essentially the 30 October each year is a cut off point for when planning authorities need to show that they have acted. Each ‘base’ period works on a rolling three-year period – meaning that from the close of the first register year (the 30 October 2016) councils had three years to act. So the Right to Build Day is the first time we get to see how many plots have actually been granted permission to be built upon.

For the first year this figure was 18,000 – so on 30 October 2019 the authorities should (!) demonstrate that they have granted enough planning permissions to reflect this demand.

To find out what’s happening, the National Custom and Self Build Association (NaCSBA) conducts a Freedom of Information request to all English authorities, including county, borough and district councils and national parks. Its last request illustrated that, at October 2018, council’s Custom and Self Build activity across the country is very mixed, creating a postcode lottery of provision.

Right to Build Day will trigger the next piece of research. NaCSBA will be tracking activity, finding out the self build heroes and the ‘could-try-harder’ councils, and be sharing this information with you, the industry and, importantly, government in an attempt to get a more even spread of activity.

Find out more about NaCSBA’s Right to Build Day campaign.

NaCSBA believes that Custom and Self Build gives more people more choice in the types of home, and what’s it can help encourage the build out of housing as it diversifies supply – an important goal for government as it works to get more 300,000 new homes a year by the mid 2020s.

Andrew Baddeley-Chappell, CEO, National Custom and Self Build Association said: “We’ve had to wait a long time since the legislation was passed to find out how effective it has been – and Right to Build Day will help clarify the picture. Our annual research and the work of the Right to Build Task Force has helped us to identify good, bad and some downright ugly performance from Local Authorities, and we will hold the government to its commitment to consider taking further action including possible changes to legislation if they do not believe sufficient action is being taken.

“Ongoing annual targets will mean local authorities will now need to continue to ensure a regular pipeline of new plots, enabling more wonderful new homes to be built and in doing so create a virtuous cycle of increased public awareness, increased opportunities and increased supply of custom and self build homes. The UK’s period at the bottom of the world league for the numbers of custom and self build homes may at last be coming to an end.”

Find your local Right to Build registers at NaCSBA’s Self Build Portal

The Right to Build – facts:

*The ‘Right to Build’ places two legal obligations on Local Authorities in England:
1. Under the Self-build and Custom Housebuilding Act 2015 all Local Authorities in England must keep a register of people and groups of people who are seeking to purchase serviced plots of land in the authority’s area and to have regard to that register when carrying out their functions. Registers were required from 1st April 2016.

2. The Housing and Planning Act 2016 requires all Local Authorities in England to grant sufficient ‘development permissions’ to meet the demand for Custom and Self Build housing in their area, as established by their register, on a rolling basis. Permissions equivalent to the number of people registering from 1st April 2016 to 30th October 2016 should be granted by 30th October 2019. Permissions equivalent to the number of people registering from 30th October 2016 to 30th October 2017 should be granted by 30th October 2020 and so on. This includes 18,000 permissions by 30th October 2019.

The Right to Build myths:

There are many misconceptions about the registers:

  • Signing your self build register means that the planning authority must find you a plot – this is incorrect, as local authorities just need to grant planning permission for one plot to reflect your demand as one person wanting to build,
  • You can only sign a single register – this is incorrect you can sign as many self build registers as you want, but some charge and some have local connection tests to limit this.
  • Councils must ‘create’ plots – incorrect, local authorities have to grant planning permission on plots rather than bring them on themselves, although some councils do do this.
  • Councils have to manage their own register – again this is not true, councils have a duty to have a register, but can ask a third-party to run and manage it for them,
  • Councils must link people wanting plots with landowners and developers that have plots – again, incorrect. Unfortunately the legislation requires councils to run a list as a source of evidence for appetite for self building, but not to facilitate this directly by running a service that connects people up.

So why sign the registers?

The Right to Build registers are vital for alerting councils about demand – and they have to consider this. So by signing up you’re ensuring that more Custom and Self Build happens in your local area. And the more it happens, the more it becomes normal and accessible, with more people considering it as a route to a new home.

 

 

Images: pixabay

BADSBA launches Self Builders’ finding a plot guide

BAdsba plot guide

Build a Dream Self Build Association (BADSBA) has launched a new simple guide to support anyone searching for a plot, with its Self Builders Guide to Finding a Plot. Self published by the association and written by BADSBA and NaCSBA founder Valerie Bearne, the guide walks you through the process of finding a plot, including common pitfalls.

Easy to access chapters take you through the essentials of plot finding, such as lists of companies and people to contact in your plot hunting endeavours, but also assists with advice about assessing and valuing a plot. This helps you establish the viability of a piece of land as a potential building plot – which can be tricky to ascertain.

Valerie Bearne says, “This accessible guide giving dozens of tried-and-tested techniques that have proved successful for thousands of plot seekers, helping them realise their dream of Self Building. It includes a detailed checklist to assess the practicalities of building on any plot or site, together with guidance on valuing plots, and an overview, of environmental design and sustainability.”

Self Builders Guide to Finding a Plot costs £3.95 in PDF format. To order your copy email BADSBA.

BaDSBA also has a guide to helping people build collectively, Get Together and Build Yourself a House. The Association also runs regular South West based events and talks around Self Build. 

Custom Build plots come to Tadpole Garden Village

Tadpole Garden Village plan

Crest Nicholson’s Tadpole Garden Village development on the edge of Swindon is set to have a selection of 14 serviced Custom Build plots, each with outline planning permission to build a bespoke home. Crest Nicholson has collaborated with self-build architectural and manufacturing experts Potton to deliver the homes on the site.

Potton have designed five Concept Homes that meet the Arts and Crafts Design Code of the village, with individual Plot Passports from which plot purchasers can take inspiration and appoint Potton to design their bespoke home.

Following the design process, the structure of the homes will be built by Potton, using high-performance timber build systems manufactured by them, with finishing works completed by the purchasers. This means that homes can be tailored to buyers’ budgets, needs and preferences, offering a more bespoke product, with homes expected to take less than 18 months from plot purchase to completion.

A Potton design that takes inspiration from the Arts and Crafts period

Tadpole Garden Village

Tadpole Garden Village features a range of character areas spread across the development, with both contemporary and traditional homes set around award-winning public spaces, including a 60-acre Nature Park.

The concept is based on the original Garden Village principles of putting community at the heart of development, with shops, schools, parks and other facilities on hand, and an emphasis on community, as reflected through the community-hub website. In total, the site will have around 1,800 new homes, with a design code setting out the vision for the whole village.

Paul Newman, Self Build Director at Potton, said: “We are specialists in helping families create and construct their dream home. The biggest challenge that faces our customers is finding a plot of land to build on. We are delighted to be working with Crest Nicholson as they bring forward 14 plots in a prime location on a fantastic scheme.”

Andrew Dobson, Managing Director at Crest Nicholson Strategic Projects division, said: “We are pleased to partner with Potton to deliver this exciting range of custom build plots at Tadpole Garden Village. As a leading developer, we are always looking for innovative ways to respond to customer demands. Over time we have been seeing more demand for individual, bespoke homes that cater for the diverse range of people who live in our communities.

“These plots provide the opportunity for homebuyers to work closely with an architectural and developer team to design a home that is specific for their needs, both from a lifestyle and budget perspective. In addition, planning and infrastructure links for the homes are fast-tracked to ensure they can move into the community sooner.”

Shropshire Self Build site one step closer to market

Shropshire London Road site

Anyone wanting to Self Build in Shropshire will want to keep an eye on Shrewsbury, where Shropshire Council is planning to bring on a 47 plot Self-Build site, off London Road.

Shropshire Council recently ratified a decision to invest in the infrastructure for the site, meaning that the development can now be submitted for planning permission. This will include full permission for infrastructure by the end of the year, enabling the roads, landscaping and services to be put in, together with outline permission for the individual plots.

It is expected that each plot will come with a Plot Passport, setting out boundary and height restriction on some of the plots, otherwise the individual will be able to design their own unique home.

The 4.41 hectare site has excellent links with Shrewsbury, and slopes down towards the River Severn making it an appealing location.

If things work out the council is hoping to bring the plots to market in 2020, with 37 Self Build plots, and 10 affordable-housing plots on offer.”

 

Shropshire currently has around 80 people on its Custom and Self Build Register, with around 500 from previous registers. Many of the people registered have identified Shrewsbury, pictured, as a desirable place to build, creating local demand.

Councillor Robert Macey, Shropshire Council’s cabinet member for housing and strategic planning, said: “This is a really exciting initiative. The London Road development will be an exemplar scheme, which is eagerly anticipated by other councils that are contemplating their own Self Build schemes. It’s the first-of-its-kind for Shropshire Council and is intended to showcase the potential for future self build developments.

“We’re aiming to provide a low-density Self Build, low-carbon, hybrid and unique development scheme for people that want to build their own homes and we hope this will provide a stepping stone to further Self Build plots in the future.

Proactive in Self Build

Shropshire County Council has an excellent reputation for working to help more people Self Build, both through bringing projects on, but also in the fact that it contacts people on its register with a quarterly newsletter sharing advice and information about upcoming sites.

The council also carries information about available plots on its website, and has an innovative single affordable plots policy for qualifying Self Builders. Together, this work led to it winning Best Council for Custom and Self Builders’ at the prestigious Build It Awards in 2018.

 

Anyone interested in the London Road site should sign up  with Shropshire County Council’s Custom and Self Build register and keep an eye on the local press and the plots page on the council’s website. We hasten to add that by being on the register does not guarantee you a plot as demand is high.

Check out the National Self Build & Renovation Centre’s new ad!

NSBRC Ad

Anyone interested in creating their own home through Self Build and Custom build should visit the National Self Build & Renovation Centre, the UK’s only permanent exhibition for everything Self Build. And to help spread the word the NSBRC has created its first ever TV ad, showing on All4 around homes-based programmes such as Grand Designs. What a reflection of a growing market!

NSBRC AD

National Self Build and Renovation Show

National Self Build and Renovation Show takes place on 18-20 October and is the perfect time to visit the centre, whether your a first-timer or returning visitor. The three days of the show are packed with live demonstrations, seminars and a range of experts on hand to share their advice and insight, helping you make those important decisions about your own project.

Whether you are planning your build, or just putting together ideas for your dream project, the centre is a wealth of information, with the opportunity to find out more about a range of build methods and products. Or you can get 1-2-1 advice on a range of subjects from the in-house experts, or financial advice from BuildStore’s in-centre experts.

Tickets are free and parking is plentiful, with the centre located off the M4, near Swindon.

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Graven Hill unlocks Help to Buy for custom build products

Graven Hill the Eden

While most Custom and Self Build homes are not able to access Help to Buy, Graven Hill, the UK’s largest self and custom build development in Bicester, has enabled its purchasers to access the loan scheme for its Custom Build properties.

Help to Buy is available on all custom build homes at Graven Hill, such as the Eden home, shown, and the event is open to both first-time buyers and existing homeowners. Offering a practical route to making the dream of a tailored home a reality, Help to Buy allows buyers to apply for a 20 percent equity loan from the Government, meaning only a five percent cash deposit is needed, with the remainder covered by a 75 percent mortgage.

Karen Curtin, managing director at Graven Hill, said: “At Graven Hill, we are keen to create a community that is accessible to everyone. Help to Buy is a key part of this, ensuring that all our custom build homes are affordable, even to those taking their first steps onto the property ladder.

“Many people are still unsure of the benefits of the Help to Buy scheme, so this event will provide a brilliant opportunity to talk to industry experts, ask questions and find out everything you need to know about the scheme.

NaCSBA and Help to Buy

NaCSBA is aware that Help to Buy creates an unfair advantage for speculative house building, and is talking to Government about redressing this balance through the introduction of a Help to Build scheme.

If it were to go ahead, this enable more people to access finance to create their own Self and Custom Build home.

 

This is a NaCSBA Member Message