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

NaCSBA’s VAT Survey 2019 – calculating sector size for Custom and Self Build in the UK

VAT Survey

Calculating the size of the UK’s Custom and Self Build sector

The National Custom and Self Build Association (NaCSBA) is running a survey of Self Builders who have reclaimed Value Added Tax (VAT) on their project. It is calling for anyone who has built or commissioned their own home in the last five years to fill in the survey, anonymously, as gathering this data helps it establish the size of the sector.

This data, together with other information, such as the number of single dwellings created per year, this gives us an estimate of the number of self builders in the country.

Please fill in our VAT survey.

Knowing how many people are self building in the UK is vital for NaCSBA, as it shares these figures with the wider industry, and more importantly, with Government, helping fuel the conversation about creating more Custom and Self Build opportunities for more people across the UK. The more people that are building, the more new opportunities will come on the market.

From 2019 calculating the size of the sector will be easier, as there is now a question on the form that you must submit for planning permission (1APP), that will help gather this data. However, for earlier years we need to compile this data retrospectively – which you can help with.

One minute of your time

Please help others who want to self build by filling in the survey, or by sharing it with friends and associates. If you have self built, custom built, commissioned a new home or converted a building into a home, then we want to know how you reclaimed your VAT.

The survey is anonymous – it’s just nine questions, but it makes a huge difference to the work we do as an organisation, helping us to make custom build and self build more of a mainstream choice for more people.

 

Share this link with anyone who has self built recently: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/YDBQ26T

 

Thank you!

 

Image: DHayes

Eden District Council’s Build your Home, Build your Community event, Penrith

Eden District Council, in partnership with Andy Lloyd of the National Community Land Trust Network, is running a free self-build, custom-build and community-led housing event in Penrith on 4 July. With exhibitors and presentations, the event is ideal for any prospective custom, self and community builders wanting to get help or advice, find like-minded people or take the next step on their ambition to create their own home.

Kicking off at 6pm at the Rheged Centre, there’s an hour allocated for networking and talking to exhibitors, with presentations starting at 7pm.

TV presenter and architectural technician Charlie Luxton will be sharing his enthusiastic personal experiences of self building, before a range of presentations that will help you discover more about building as part of a community, planning, finance and more.

Exhibitors and advice*:
• Andy Lloyd, National Community Land Trust Network Technical Advisor
ACT Cumbria and Lancaster Community-led Housing Hub
Atkinson Building Contractors
2030 Architects
JIW Properties
LoCal Homes
Penrith Building Society
• Thomas Armstrong – kit systems
Ecomotive
Unity Trust Bank
Hyde Harrington
Manning Elliott
PFK
Green Footsteps
• Ecological Building Systems
• Eden District Council – Officers from Planning, Building Control and Community-led Housing

And presentations from:
• Charlie Luxton, architectural designer, writer and TV presenter
• ACT Cumbria and Lancaster Community-led Housing Hub
• Patterdale Community Land Trust / Eden Housing Association partnership
Lancaster Forgebank Co-housing
• Ecomotive, a social enterprise supporting group projects with an emphasis on sustainability and affordability
• Rod Hughes from 2030 Architects
• Rob Jerams from LoCaL Homes, a not-for-profit advanced housing manufacturer, offering high performance, low carbon housing solutions
• Bruce Armstrong-Payne, local self-builder and Planning Consultant
• Michelle Stevens from Penrith Building Society.

*Subject to change

While the event is free, places are limited so registration is a must.

Andy Lloyd is a community housing adviser to the National Community Land Trust Network. He provides technical support to communities and local authorities in the Penrith area, helping to deliver community owned affordable housing projects, such as:
• Lyvennet Community Trust in Crosby Ravensworth
• Keswick Community Housing Trust
• Lune Valley Community Land Trust in Halton, Lancashire

Community-led housing includes self-build, co-housing, co-operative housing, self-help housing and community land trusts (CLTs). This housing enables communities to become active players in their own sustainable development.

Sign up to Eden District Council’s Self and Custom Build Register.

 

EXHIBIT: If your company provides goods and services which may be of interest to self-builders and would like to exhibit at the event please email: andy@communityhousingprojectdevelopment.uk

Find out more about Build your Home, Build your Community event here.