The National Custom and Self Build Association (NaCSBA) has welcomed the publication of the Help to Build prospectus, and calls for members of the public to register to be among the first to take advantage of this pivotal scheme on opening for bids.

The link for registering is at the end of the prospectus, as it is important that people understand how the scheme works before registering to find out more information. But registering will ensure you are among the first to hear when the scheme is open for bids.

Download the prospectus

Help to Build is the government’s new finance programme – an equity loan scheme designed to open up the custom and self build market to people with smaller deposits. The potential of the scheme is significant, making an owner-commissioned home a more affordable route to home ownership for more people. This in turn will lead to more homes being built, contributing to government’s ambition to delivery 300,000 homes annually.

 
Help to Build logo

The loan is a first for anyone wanting to custom or self build, as the Help to Buy scheme, which this scheme is loosely based on, was not available on owner-commissioned homes. 

Where Help to Buy transferred the funds to the developer, Help to Build is focussed on the mortgage lender. This is because the self-builder is likely to engage with multiple parties – to buy the land, build the house and fit out the interior. The new scheme is expected to open up the market to more people wanting to build, especially those with smaller deposits.

 

 

About the fund

The prospectus sets out what would-be self and custom builders can expect from the scheme, such as the fact that lending is only through registered stakeholders, and the self build mortgage used to build the house will convert to a standard mortgage on completion of the build.

It also sets out the eligibility criteria for applying, for example:

  • You must have a have a minimum 5% deposit ,
  • loans can be between 5-20% of the total estimated cost (40% in London),
  • people can borrow up to £600,000 for the build and land, or up to £400,000 for build alone,
  • the loan will attract interest, payable from year 6,
  • the planned house must be your only home,
  • you must have outline planning permission to apply, and
  • payback amounts are calculated on the value of your home at the point of sale – so if the value rises so does the amount you owe on the loan.

NaCSBA hopes that the success of the scheme will help drive a step change in the sector encouraging more permissioned land to come forward and more businesses delivering the sites and homes that customers desire. In doing so we hope to create a virtuous cycle of activity as we aim towards the 30,000 to 40,000 homes a year that the government would like to see the sector provide.

Housing Minister Christopher Pincher MP said: “People across the country dream of building their own home and through our ground-breaking Help to Build scheme we are making it a realistic and affordable option.

“Help to Build will put them in charge of the house-building process and make sure they get the home they truly want.

“This scheme will also support small housebuilders and create thousands of local jobs – providing a huge boost the self and custom build sector and delivering much-needed new homes.”

Andrew Baddeley-Chappell, NaCSBA CEO said: “There has been a long-recognised need for greater diversity in our new homes market. The launch of the Help to Build prospectus is another important milestone for custom and self-build homes.

“It will mean that more people can have the new home they actually want including those with smaller deposits, sound plans and big hopes. The greater choice enabled by this scheme will lead to more affordable and better homes that are more wanted and more sustainable.

“Contrary to common perception, in most cases custom and self build is not about people undertaking the build themselves. Rather, it is about the homeowner having control over the design and specification of their project – enabling them to create the home they want, rather than the one someone else believes they would like. It means that new homes will now be part of the solution for the large numbers of people whose cultural, ecological, physical or emotional needs are not currently met by the new-build market.”

Photos: Potton/Kingspan 

We’re following the story of Anne, mother of six boys who is building a home for her family and one for the grandparents on the same site. They used the Right to Build to help them escape the private rental sector, acting as pioneers for the legislation, which even the council was unsure about at the time.

Anne's family

Part 9: The Affordability Question

A quick recap: 
Edged out by a new discourse between church and state, we tried to counter the market intentions of the Church’s property dept with community ideas, which secured an appointment to make a pitch to the Bishop of Edmonton. Meanwhile, we tried to reach someone in the council who might share a similar vision for Community Housing.

Local policy support

Having secured a meeting with the Bishop it seemed pragmatic to try and get support from Enfield Council so that any proposal using the combined church and council land would carry more weight.

While looking for supportive policy we stumbled across a document “Custom & Self Build in Enfield” (now removed, but see this meeting), which put forward a strategy for delivering custom and self build homes on small-scale council-owned sites. Based on a leasehold model, it reduced upfront costs for purchasers in return for long- term ground rental income for the council.

It seemed perfect – the ideas were very much in tune with parts of what we had been proposing (See Part Three: The Land Value Idea) but much more developed in terms of implementation. The report hoped its pioneering lead might encourage other public landowners to follow.

The report was by the Regeneration department at Enfield Council and its leader was Peter George, who in the words of ‘Naked House’ (Blog 7) was a forward thinking man, looking at innovative ways to solve the housing crisis. The Naked House idea put forward a plan as an alternative custom building service provider trying genuinely to provide affordable homes on a not-for-profit basis.

We thought we could position ourselves as the ‘self build’ service provider with a similar offering. Unfortunately getting to meet or even speak to Mr George was a challenge that even my persistent efforts failed to achieve. I was passed from one department to another until I ended up back to square one at the door of the property disposals manager!

Enfield site - blog1

Universal challenges

We reconnected with Naked House and found we both had two major challenges:

  1. The government was trying to ban ‘ground rents’ on the basis that some have been misused. Some larger developers had sold leasehold houses with clauses enabling ground rents to double every 10 years so making the homes expensive and unsaleable. Community Land Trust groups were campaigning to include exemptions for community groups but these clauses needed careful working out. (In the end they were successful and CLTs are exempt from such charges.)
  2. The issue of how to make the model affordable, as buying land is a significant upfront cost. For a family buying, using the ground rent model they get a house at say 1/3rd below market price (1/3 being value of land). You could call it a ‘shared equity’ model as they own the house and have a mortgage for that but pay rent for the land – or like owning a flat.

Creating our prospectus for affordability

Affordability Model

We based our workings on the following:

Worked out in this way, the land proposition would be a good deal for the local Treasury, as it promised to recover the sale value of the land in a roughly 20 year period, and then would continue to deliver non-tax revenue to the local authority for the long term.

However, it is no longer affordable for the families if, on top of the mortgage, they have to pay 5% of £150k = £7,500 per year (or £625 month). We felt that this additional cost meant that 5% was clearly too high.

There is a similar scheme in Canberra, Australia, which was founded on Garden City principles. There the government land rent scheme was 4% with a discounted rate of 2% for families on low to middle incomes. The Government land rent is calculated on the unimproved value of land and lessees are required to construct a house on the land within two years of the lease being granted. So 2% is probably the level that Naked House would need and they subsequently were looking at that sort of level in the interest of affordability.

We hoped we could deliver affordable housing at 75% market price. 80% market price was the magic number picked by the Coalition government as a definition of ‘affordable housing’, although this still unaffordable to many families.

This would be achieved in three ways:

  1. The church would keep the land and charge a ground rent;
  2. The scheme would be a mixed community with higher income families paying closer to market price, while an element of bursary could be available for those on lower incomes, on a needs basis;
  3. As a community scheme some sales risk, finance cost and developer profits could be reduced to deliver a further affordability factor – perhaps 10%.

Our prospectus was coming together! We were ready to offer the church a ‘fresh revolution in housing’, just as the Archbishop of Canterbury had called for, one that was values led and offered a vision of better affordability.

Find your self and custom build register on the Right to Build Portal.

Read the other parts of the Self Build Family Build Blog.

Part One: Deciding to Self Build, the Turning Point

Part Two: Looking for Land in London

Part Three: The Land Value Idea

Part Four: A Small Matter of Access

Part Five: The Mystery of the Road Unravelled

Part Six: Negotiating a Deal

Part Seven: Best Consideration Pursuing our Community Building Idea

Part Eight: Calling on Higher Parts

 

Photo: printed with permission of Fiona Hanson 2020©

Land promoter Leaper Land has submitted a planning application to Wokingham Borough Council for up to 33 Custom and Self-Build homes at Broadcommon Road, Hurst. Anyone wishing to self build locally can offer their support for the application on the planning section of Wokingham’s website, by searching application number 213378.

The scheme features 27 houses and six flats, including 14 affordable homes, set among two large recreational spaces available to the wider community, including a play area and a natural space with a wilder feel.

Leaper has submitted an outline application to establish the principles, to be followed by a reserved matters application if the scheme is approved. This will set out the parameters for the individual homes before development commences. Leaper would be responsible for delivering infrastructure, including roadways, footpaths and landscaping works, and installing utilities to create the serviced plots for custom or self-builders.

As a custom and self build development, the design of each new home would be controlled by a Design Code. This will give buyers the context in which they customise their own house design to their needs and tastes, subject to a menu of pre-approved architectural styles set out in the Design Code.

The community has already been engaged with, including with an online exhibition and a parish council meeting. These helped shape the application, resulting in the introduction of passing bays and new signage along Broadcommon Road; moving the vehicular access 6.4m to the east; redesigning the apartment block; and increasing and landscaping the area of land between the existing properties and the proposed plots.

Ben Marten, Director of Leaper, commented: “Wokingham has one of the greatest demands for Custom and Self-Build in the UK and there is a substantial shortfall in the provision of serviced plots in the Wokingham borough. The proposal at Hurst would go a long way to helping the Council meet their legal obligation to provide for this demand.”

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

With the planned decrease in the usage of gas as a fuel source, government recently launched the Boiler Upgrade Scheme, a new scheme that will give homeowners up to £6,000 towards the cost of an upgrade to low-carbon heating systems. The Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has released its Heat and Buildings Strategy with £450million in funding for heat pumps, both ground source and – more realistic for most people – air source heat pumps.

The Boiler Upgrade Scheme is designed to transform our energy usage in homes, although government has stopped short from requiring the banning of fossil-fuel boilers. The expectation is that by 2030 heat pumps, and other cleaner technology, will cost the same to run and buy as current gas systems. The other major alternative is hydrogen, which could power some existing systems, but the technology is still in its experimental stage, with products not yet available to buy.

Essentially Boiler Upgrade Scheme is a boiler upgrade scheme, which comes with many associated challenges around upping the spec in existing houses to make them compatible with these heat sources. This is because heat pumps work best in houses with high levels of energy efficiency and insulation.

Fortunately most self built houses are built to a far higher spec than to Building Regulations, which is a set of minimum standards. The Boiler Upgrade Scheme, which is a renaming of the Clean Heat Grant, is available in England and Wales, and is part of a wider £3.9bn funding pot set out in the Heat and Buildings Strategy.

How does this affect self builders?

While homeowners in new builds are not able to apply, self builders are eligible, and will have a three month period in which to apply. In addition, self builders won’t need an Energy Performance Certificate, which is a requirement for existing home owners.

Eligible homeowners will be able to receive government grants for the purchase of low carbon heating systems, with applications running between April 2022 and April 2025. This will replace the Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive, which officially closes next March.

The funding allows for either £5,000 for Air Source Heat Pumps (ASHP) or £6,000 for Ground Source Heat Pumps (including the rarer Water Source Heat Pumps), with more funding allocated for ASHPs as these are more compatible with most homes, due to space limitations.

In addition, biomass boilers in rural areas with low populations should also qualify for support.

It looks like grants will be on a voucher system that are applied for in advance of installations, with the vouchers – which have a usage date – being redeemed on completion. The scheme will also work on a first-come-first-served availability basis.

 

NaCSBA member Mayflower Mortgage and Finance works with self builders at the very earliest stage of their project, helping them get the right financial product for their needs. We asked Mayflower to share some insight with anyone considering a self build, by chatting to Victoria and Gareth, a couple part way through their build. We hope you find their answers helpful!

Self Build Selfie

Tell us about your project

Knowing we wanted to self build, we bought the plot with prior approval and existing plans in place.

Once it went through we consulted with a local architect to see if he could rework plans within the existing footprint to include some of the extra features we were hoping to fit in and improve access.

We also looked to amend the specified outer material from grey cladding to a rustic red brick on the bottom half of the building to look more in keeping with the local area. 

Thankfully our local council supported the plans and viewed them as an improvement on the previous scheme so we were very lucky to get the layout and look we were hoping for whilst still staying within the constraints of Class Q development rights (see box, below).

What 5 top tips would you give to any self builder that you wish you had been given?

  1. Explore new greener technology. Initially our plan was to connect to mains electric but for various reasons this was fraught with uncertainty. We ended up going completely off grid with a full renewable energy system encompassing solar, wind and a ground source heat pump for all of our electric and heating needs.
    We’ve been super impressed with how advanced the technology is and used a company that could offer us a complete solution. As well as being green and having no utility bills, we will also benefit from a government grant for the next 5 years that will effectively pay for the heating system.
  2. Go through the fine detail of any quotes with your contractors fully. Back this up with a verbal conversation to ensure all points are understood and always follow up with e-mails to confirm everything. This way you have a paper trail to fall back on if anything goes wrong.
  3. Always factor in your contingency! Unfortunately, like many other self builders, we’ve been stung by increases in materials costs, so ensure you have resources to fall back on.
    We ended up spending extra on details, such as using antique bricks inside to create feature walls in the hallway which added to the budget but we felt would elevate the finish.
  4. Shop around and experiment with materials. For example, we were initially going to use zinc for the roof with quotes of between £20-£65k. But we found a steel alternative that looked identical, which included the insulation charges, for just £7k.
  5. Be prepared to make compromises. This is very important to enable you to finish the build close to the timescale and budget. We chose to invest in the big ticket, permanent items, such as the kitchen, brick work and renewable energy systems. But we’ve compromised on little things, like using aluminium-look PVC for the windows instead of aluminium, putting the landscaping on hold for now and forgoing the staircase we really wanted, knowing that we can upgrade it in the future.

What advice can you give about engaging with professional services?

Financial Advisor -everyone’s starting point should be sourcing a great financial advisor that specialises in self build. With so many options available you need someone who can help rationalise and build a plan with you.
We used Mike Pawley at Mayflower Mortgages who made everything so simple and hooked us up with a fantastic product that suited our needs perfectly.

An architect is an obvious one, though we only used ours to finesse what was already there, which wasn’t expensive. It’s worth reviewing plans if you buy a home with planning in place, to ensure you get the home that reflects your needs.

Engineering companies – these are essential, and must be consulted as and when needed for any technical drawings and calculations needed for the planners.

Green specialists – if you’re considering going green I’d highly recommend considering a company that can offer you a complete turnkey solution. We used The Big Green Beard who have been excellent.

Were you able to do any work yourselves?

We’re lucky on the project management side, as Gareth’s background is new-build construction (though this is the first time we’ve built on our own). If you haven’t got the knowledge and contacts I’d recommend consulting with a third party that can steer the build and ensure the sequencing of the various jobs is correct.

How long has the process taken?

We broke ground in December 2020 with ground works taking a long time due to the extensive excavations needed. We aim to be in the house with Building control sign off for the end of November 2021, which we are really happy with considering we’ve both been working full time and haven’t had contractors on site full time.

Would you do it again?

Absolutely 1000%! We’ve been living in a caravan nearby, which has been challenging at times, especially in the winter months, but we’ve enjoyed the journey and actually living a simpler life for a bit.
To anyone considering self build, as long as you do your due diligence and the financial side stacks up comfortably we’d say go for it and live your dream. Anything is possible with drive, planning and determination.

What would you change about the build ?

I don’t think there’s anything we’d change about the build itself at this point – perhaps ask us in a year though!

Find out more about Gareth and Victoria’s build on Instagram at @ourbarnconversionstory

What are Class Q development rights? 

Permitted development rights (PDR) are a set of rights in England that allow people to do certain things within the law, with planning permission automatically granted as long as the conditions are met for each category.  They are set out in the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015 (as amended) (GPDO 2015)

Class Q permitted development rights can support the conversion of agricultural buildings into a home (or up to five homes) without the need for full planning application.

This uses a process called ‘prior approval’ instead of needing full planning permission from scratch, as long as certain criteria are met.

You will still need a planning consultant to help you with the process, as the conditions can be many and various, and it is important to get these right to ensure the PDR is valid. This is because the planning authority must still approve the plans before any work commences. The CLA reports that nationally, about 60% Class Q applications fail – often due to local interpretations of the rules. But this means that 40% do allow people to build, so don’t discount it as a route to your home.

Find Self Build Planning specialists in the NaCSBA members directory.

THIS IS A NaCSBA MEMBER UPDATE

Scotland-based Allan Corfield Architects is expanding its national coverage with a permanent presence at the National Self Build and Renovation Centre (NSBRC) in Swindon, and the launch of its first seminar for self builders wanting to develop their skills.

Architect Jenny Chandela has joined ACA, working out of its brand new NSBRC stand three days a week, and is able to answer questions or chat to you about your project. Alternatively, if you cannot get to Swindon ACA also offers a free initial online consultation.

In line with ACA’s ethos of supporting self builders, as seen in its online Learning Centre, it has launched its first self build seminar at the NSBRC, How to Self-build Successfully*.

The one day event runs from 8:30 – 4:30, and is repeated on the Wednesday 27 and Thursday 28 October, and costs £80 per person, and is designed to educate novice builders all the key elements of the self build journey.

Topics covered include:

Speakers at the event:

Allan Corfield, AC Architects, Self Build and Low Energy Expert

Tom McSherry, BuildStore, Finance Expert

Brian Singleton, ADM Systems, MVHR Expert

David Gallagher, AC Structures, Structural Engineer

James Bryden, CLPM, Project Management and QS

David Hilton, Heat & Energy, Renewable Heating Expert

 

To find out more visit Allan Corfield Architects website and register your interest for the event, or get in touch with your questions to Kim via email or call 03333444217

* The How to Self-build Successfully seminar is not suitable if you are already working with an architect.

Super sized custom and self build development Graven Hill has teamed up with Iconic Development Group to offer would be self builders the option of building a turnkey ICF-constructed home on the site.

Iconic offers a unique one-stop shop service, offering self-builders everything they need to build their insulated concrete formwork (ICF) home. A turnkey home refers to the fact that the self builder commissions the home, and then it is entire built and fitted out by the developer, and handed over as a completed home. The owner simply ‘turns the key’ and moves in!

Iconic can take projects from the earliest stages of financial planning, offering expert advice that continues right through to construction.

Founded by Dheeraj Malik and Sanjeev Basra in 2018, Iconic Development Group focuses on providing high quality homes at competitive prices.

The pair already built their own homes  at Graven Hill, an experience that adds to their decades of knowledge and skills in construction.

Iconic Development Group is building six homes at Graven Hill, and plans to build  20 houses at the site in the coming years.

In addition to working with self-builders more generally, they work with a range of developers using ICF, and are able to offer fixed price design and build service.

Gemma Davis, Customer Experience Director at Graven Hill said: “Over the past 18-months, we’ve seen people rushing to adapt their living space to home working. Realising that this ‘new normal’, is here to stay, many now feel these temporary solutions aren’t suited to post-pandemic life.

“Working with suppliers like Iconic is so refreshing; they share our belief that everything in your home should be designed and optimised based exactly on how the individual or family like to live. Our partnership allows us to ensure each self and custom build project is tailored to an individual’s lifestyle, environmental objectives, and budget.”

Dheeraj Malik, Co-founder of Iconic Development Group Ltd said: “Our initiative was born out of a desire to help others, based on our personal experiences of self-building at Graven Hill. Through our partnership with GHVDC, our experience, skills, and knowledge allow us to provide fixed price design and build services, which help self and custom builders achieve their dream homes.”

Malik continues, “We foresee a greater demand for bespoke properties in the next decade, especially in towns like Bicester. Not only can people have easy access to major cities like London, Oxford, and Birmingham, but they can also hand-pick elements for their dream home without paying hefty city prices.”

ICF block

What is ICF?

ICF is an easy system to build with, that involves using large hollow blocks that are stacked to create walls. The expanded polystyrene blocks interlock to create a formwork with a cavity that flows around the entire building. Once built, this is then pumped full of concrete, which, once dry and shuttering is remove, creates a robust structure with great insulation values.

Self-builders may be able to get involved – should they wish – with a bit of training from your supplier. The finished building can be clad in render, or a material of your choice. 

Find out more about different build methods for your project

A new biography has been published sharing the work and vision of Walter Segal, a leading figure in self build in the 1970s when he created several projects, including a whole estate of self build homes, in London. Walter Segal: Self Built Architect 

In the book, author and friend of Walter, John McKean tells the story of Segal’s life (1907–85) life, covering his youth and early architectural career in Berlin, before exploring his unique approach to architectural practice – and, specifically, to everyday housing. The book takes in Segal’s work in Switzerland, Mallorca and Egypt, before reviewing his post-war building career in England and the philosophy that drove his work. This included a commitment to self building, which led to him creating a self build community in Lewisham, London (above and below). This has now become a reference point in every historical review of self build in the UK.

Overtime Segal became interested in coming up with the best dwellings for 20th-century towns and his concern for the empowerment of ordinary citizens – and crucially this involved giving them the ability to build their own homes.

Alice Grahame follows with an exploration of the enduring impact of Segal’s timberframing method, looking at how this has led to the possibility of making, and then living within, communities where houses are constructed with a flexible, easily assembled and planet-friendly building system

Walter Segal book

“This book is a huge pleasure because it reveals the man and revels in his energy and wit. It is also a delight because it is so authoritative, written by the two people who know Walter Segal’s life, personality and work better than anyone.”

Kevin McCloud,Designer, writer and presenter of Channel 4’s Grand Designs
The book costs £45, but Self Build Portal users can use the code SEGAL20 to get 20% off at checkout at www.lundhumphries.com  (valid until 30/9/21)
Walters Way self build homes

About the authors:

A Professor of Architecture at the University of Brighton for 11 years, John McKean wrote the first monograph on his friend Walter Segal over 30 years ago. 

Alice Grahame has written about Walter Segal in The Guardian and architecture and design magazines. She curated an exhibition about Segal – Walters Way: the Self-build Revolution at the Architectural Association Gallery in London.

Image credits: Alice Grahame

We’re following the story of Anne, mother of six boys who is building a home for her family and one for the grandparents on the same site. They used the Right to Build to help them escape the private rental sector, acting as pioneers for the legislation, which even the council was unsure about at the time.

Anne's family

Part 8: Calling on higher support

A quick recap: 
Our offer for the Vicarage garden (with our partner family) had been overtaken as Council and Diocese got into dialogue. Against that disappointment things were picking up on the community building idea.

Maximising the opportunity for homes

It was 2018 and the beginning of a new year. My husband Peter spent Christmas working up a scheme for the two sites to house 5-7 units, to make the most of the site.

He was also formulating a proposal to convince the church that, rather than sell off the ‘family silver’ to fund philanthropic ‘mission’, community housing was, in fact, a mission purpose in itself, and could even be framed to support the work of the church locally.

At this point the Diocese was in the process of drawing up a scheme for maximising the number of units on both sites. It would obtain a valuation and then take the site to auction. We knew that any private sale bid would have to be 10% above the valuation,  as before, but this time for the combined sites.

Only a registered charity, the Diocese Development Manager pointed out, would have a chance of bidding below market value. I could feel his discomfort, as he was trying to tell me we no longer stood a chance.

However, for some reason I did not feel uncomfortable, saying that, “Nothing is impossible….”

I had further conversations with the Council Property Disposals manager who was happy to share the plans being drawn up with the Church, but his position was similar: ‘best price’ needed to be achieved. We would have the same chance as others to compete for the scheme.

Setting our vision

It was clear that we had got as far as we could with the property departments. We needed to reach visionaries.

Consequently, we came up with a prospectus which we called, ‘Reimagining Community: a pilot scheme in N14’. This was inspired by the Archbishop of Canterbury’s ‘Reimagining Britain’ in which he challenged ‘the purpose of housing should be understood as creating communities and not merely building accommodation”.

‘The housing crisis’, we wrote, ‘presents an opportunity that creative, dynamic and devoted families wanting to establish a secure base and build community need help to get started…’

My first port of call was the vicar’s wife who was encouraging. I talked through some of our ideas and she recommended that we approach the area Bishop (Bishop of Edmonton) who was interested in affordable housing and Father Edd said he would put in a good word and introduce us by email.

This turned out be very timely. I followed up our contact at Faith in Affordable Housing (see Blog 5) who informed me that the Bishop of Edmonton had recently become a trustee of Housing Justice.

He also gave me the contact for the Diocese Strategic Development Manager. Community housing was of interest, but the Diocese had no policy to date and although a ground rent model was a sensible business model for the church it was one that was not recognised yet.

Father Edd was as good as his word and immediately wrote to the Bishop saying he had seen our proposals which were very interesting and should be seriously considered.

We then wrote our letter in our custom way – I draft the letter, Peter puts red lines all over it and re-writes it. We were not sure how to address a bishop but in the end decided on the old fashioned formal form:

My Lord, … we are looking for support within the Church for our small community led housing proposal… The development would pioneer a new form of affordable housing made possible because the Church would retain ownership of the land.

Families would be able to own their own homes but not have to buy the land and instead pay a ground rent to the Church. In that respect it is like buying a flat.

The Church maintains a steady income stream and has helped create a community invested in the school and church. The houses would remain affordable in perpetuity…

The development explores the idea of intergenerational living with some of the characteristics of an extended family in which the old can provide some childcare and the young can help the elderly in various ways. The scheme also looks at how students or those starting work or just married can find their feet.

…Currently Council and Diocese are looking to marry the two sites which back onto each other and dispose of them at auction for development for luxury houses and apartments. The Council site is landlocked and the Diocese owns the access and so has the controlling interest.

Our proposal offers an alternative model which while it will not furnish a Best Price lump sum up front it will deliver value in terms of Mission, for families and the community and almost certainly achieve better overall cash value in the long run…

The approach is a new and practical application of some of the principles recently promoted by the Archbishop and by the Mayor, and would help London Borough Enfield to deliver on their new obligations on Self Build. Indeed we believe Enfield will welcome the opportunity.

They are already taking some quite brave steps on ‘custom build’ ahead of other boroughs and so this is an opportunity to give some encouragement that the great moral authority of the established church can lend.

This site offers a curiously unique symbol of cooperation of the two great pillars of Church and State to bring forward fresh answers to the biggest questions for families in Britain today…”

I received a call back a couple of weeks later to say the Bishop was happy to meet us and a meeting was set for a month’s time. It was exciting.

Our task now was to seek a similar visionary in Enfield Council, we knew there was one, he was working with Naked House, but could we reach him?

Find your self and custom build register on the Right to Build Portal.

Read the other parts of the Self Build Family Build Blog.

Part One: Deciding to Self Build, the Turning Point

Part Two: Looking for Land in London

Part Three: The Land Value Idea

Part Four: A Small Matter of Access

Part Five: The Mystery of the Road Unravelled

Part Six: Negotiating a Deal

Part Seven: Best Consideration Pursuing our Community Building Idea

Part Eight: Calling on Higher Parts

 

Photo: printed with permission of Fiona Hanson 2020©

According to specialist lender Together, a third of Brits would sacrifice part of their garden if it meant they could self build on the land. Based on a new survey, the data indicates that over 34% would take on a major self-build, with a mix of motivations. Of those surveyed, 14% said this would create a home for a family member, 10% would build a house they would sell and 8% would move in themselves.

According to the survey, 26% of respondees were interested in creating a standalone ‘granny annexe’ for visiting friends or family, if they had the space. Many attributed this desire due to the way in which the pandemic forced us to reconsider how we interact with our extended families.

One in ten also said that the boom in popularity for staycations offered an opportunity to rent such a garden build out as a short-term holiday let, while 8% said they were interested in long-term lets.

But it’s not just big builds that people wanted in their garden, with a fifth (20%) of respondents saying they’d be keen to build a summerhouse or workshop to create their perfect space.

Scott Clay, distribution development manager at Together, said: “Our survey highlights homeowners’ ambitions as we begin to return to a different kind of normality.

“People are thinking more creatively about how they could use their outside space, whether that is providing a standalone home office, a home for themselves to live or sell, or a specially-designed home for elderly or disabled relatives.

“It’s important that homeowners have enough space and get any required building consent, including planning permission, before they take on a self-build. They will also need a lot of planning, determination, and the right finance in place before they start their project.

“However, as well as Help to Build, there are other options of funding your own build, depending on the borrower’s ability to repay the loan. This could be through an advance from an existing lender, a self-build mortgage, or a remortgage, bridging loan or other types of property finance from a specialist lender.”

Building in the garden

Duncan Hayes, a spokesperson for the National Custom and Self-Build Association (NaCSBA) said: “When considering options for garden plots it is important to understand the approach of the local planning authority. The right proposals in the right areas can help with the delivery of better and more sustainable homes that we urgently need.

“Care is needed as many will have specific policies to prevent inappropriate development of gardens that may cause harm to the local area. NaCSBA recommends that anyone wanting to build should sign their local self-build register and check out the planning policies on their local council’s website in regard to creating new dwellings in a garden.”

Andrew Baggot, managing partner and chartered accountant at Clarke Nicklin, adds: “As far as tax is concerned there are a few matters to bear in mind with a self-build project. As well as the tax benefits, there shouldn’t be any Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) to pay on the self-build, on the basis that it is being built in the owner’s own garden.

“However, one tax that might need to be considered in more detail is Capital Gains Tax (“CGT”). Your primary home is exempt from CGT. Although, as soon as you’ve acquired a self-build home you then have two properties, only one of which can be exempt from CGT. It’s therefore important to plan ahead if you’re then thinking of selling one of the properties so that you minimise any tax that might become payable”.

Find out more about tax on our advice pages.