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 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:
- Nearly a third of GB adults (32%) are interested in designing and building their own home.
- 9% of people said they were likely to build their own home at some point in the future. This compares to around 5% of new homes currently being built as custom and self build annually**
- Interest is highest in the young, with nearly half (48%) of those between 18 and 24 saying they were interested. This aspiration reduced with age, with less than 1 in 5 (18%) of those aged 55 and over being interested.
- The main benefit for building is seen as the ability to design a home to the owner’s exact specifications (74%), followed by the ability to create a home that can adapt to meet current and future needs (50%).
- Finding the money to finance the project, including mortgage finance, is seen as the biggest hurdle (59%).
- A third of people said living in a home that had less impact on the environment and was more sustainable was a key benefit of building a home (33%), and nearly 9 in 10 people (89%) said energy efficiency would be important if they were to build a new home.
In response to COVID-19 and the way we see our homes, the data showed that:
- Almost 2 in 5 (39%) said the pandemic has made them need a home office space.
- Almost half (48%) said they would like more space as a result of the lockdown. 36% said they would like more indoor space, and 37% said they would like more outdoor space.
- Nearly a third (31%) have considered home improvements at some point in the future as a result of lockdown.
- 1 in 20 (5%) considered designing and building their own home in response to the crisis.
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.
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.”
Building societies offering self and/or custom build products:
|Bath Building Society
||Beverley Building Society
|Chorley Building Society
||Darlington Building Society
||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+).
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.
Part 5: The mystery of the road unravelled
A quick recap:
We had found adjoining plots both owned by public service mission landowners – church and state – and both landlocked. We probably could not afford either but could we bring other values to the table? Could we find the owner of the private road and unlock access? And could we appeal to their mission interest in helping build local communities?
Could we build a community?
My visit to the first Right to Build Expo* had got off to a good start with NaCSBA Chair Michael Holmes explaining the public service mission aspect in ‘Best Value’ (blog 4).
From there it became an investigation into community building. My husband Peter, who is an architect, had already worked out that it was feasible to build two houses on the vicarage plot (managed by the Diocese of London) and a further 4-5 units on the Enfield Council-owned plot, so a small community project was plausible.
The breakout group session led by Tom Chance, Director of the National Community Land Trust Network helped to affirm some of our ideas. Community Land Trust is a way of holding land that embodies the sort of idea for affordability that we had been thinking about, where it is secured in perpetuity (see Blog 3).
It was developed in 1969 inspired by the earlier Garden Cities movement. How you get the land is another question, but in some cases it has been gifted or sold at a below market price by some philanthropic owner, and occasionally by a council. The Community Land Trust provides a legal form to put the land into a Trust for the benefit of the community and a lot of work has been done to develop a route map for interested groups and a governance model.
We were not expecting anyone to gift us anything, and we thought either the church or the council should retain the land. But we were starting to think that if we could make something work in terms of a self build, then we should be able to make it work for others too and it could be a community. I mentioned the idea to Tom and he encouraged me to apply for their ‘first stage funding’ that would fund one of their consultants to help us develop the idea. I did this the very next day.
Michael Holmes also gave me the contact details for ‘Faith in Affordable Housing’ (aka Housing Justice) an organisation working to promote housing justice and advise the church on disposal of land for affordable housing. I wrote to them too.
New facts change the playing field
But before we had much time to develop these ideas I heard from the vicar that the Diocese intended to proceed with the sale by November, so we decided to call to say we were still interested.
However, we had little idea how to negotiate, some ideas about persuading them not to sell the land but keep their ‘family silver’, an idea of working with the Council to develop both sites for a vague community housing scheme and another idea of adding value by unlocking the access road. With these ideas in mind I picked up the phone.
I had never got through to the Diocese Development Manager before, only his answer machine, but this time I did. He was friendly and I felt at ease, and to my surprise he informed me that the Diocese already owned the access road and they had bought it some time ago!
This was news indeed. Our idea of adding value looked a little naïve and now there was no mileage in it. I mentioned that I was pursuing the Right to Build both as an individual and as a community enterprise with the Council and would he be interested in combining the plots for such a venture.
He said they had been trying to purchase the plot from the Council but had not got anywhere for over two years and so the decision had been made to sell now.
At the outset the Diocese had previously obtained outline planning permission for a large vicarage. This consent was due to expire in 6 months, which meant that there was a glimmer of possibility for us.
He advised that Charity Commission rules permitted them to make an ‘off-market’ sale (eg. to us!) provided that they could show that they had achieved 10% above a market price. The market valuation was provided by auctioneers. He encouraged us to make an offer.
The plot was due to go to auction in November but we could potentially make a deal where we purchased the church land and access road for an initial sum now, but a further sum later if we managed to develop the Council site. He believed we might have more luck in the future with the Council than he had done to date.
A game of nerves
Could we possibly do it? We knew could not buy the land on our own. The rough auctioneers’ valuation was considerably beyond our means but the plot was big enough for two houses, so would we be able to get planning permission for two houses and find someone to partner with?
And even if we could what about our idealistic economic justice ideas of land not being owned… housing for benefit of community… which we were beginning to develop? Then there was the question of the Council. I had hassled them over the summer months to find out who owned the access road. Would it change everything if they did now find out who owned it?
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
Photo: printed with permission of Fiona Hanson 2020©
*The Right to Build Expos were professional focussed training events sharing best practice, delivered by the Right to Build Task Force
The National Custom and Self Build Association (NaCSBA) has partnered with UK Cohousing Network, National Community Land Trust Network and the Federation of Master Builders to create a new group called Housing Diversification. It’s aim is to persuade Government to create more opportunities for more people to live in custom build, self build and community-led housing. These are houses are typically built by small- to medium-enterprise (SME) housebuilders.
Together, the groups believe that this type of housing could result in an extra 130,000 homes being built by 2025. These homes would be additional units, in that they would be extra to the homes built by the major housebuilders in this period, and therefore help government in its ambition to build 300,000 homes a year.
Housing Diversification knows that the homes built by SME builders for self build and community-led projects are typically more sustainable, beautiful, innovative and of higher quality than many open market homes. In addition, these homes also boost the local economy, providing local jobs and training opportunities.
The number of SME housebuilders has fallen significantly since the 1980s, and halved following the last recession. These SME companies are vital for the supply of local houses, and opportunities must be created to allow them to operate on a level playing field with volume housebuilders, which have very deep pockets.
Campaigning for building back better
Housing diversification has three asks of Government:
- The establishment of a high-level Housing Diversification Taskforce, with a range of items set out for consideration (see Appendix).
- Commitment to a five-year renewal of the Community Housing Fund as part of the Comprehensive Spending Review.
- The creation of a robust and statutory system of reporting on diversification as part of Government housing statistics, including on the NPPF requirement for 10% of homes to be delivered on small sites (one hectare or less).
Housing Diversification members:
- NaCSBA, which runs the Self Build Portal, knows that 14,000 custom and self build homes are built each year, although many of these are single self builds. With greater Government support this figure could reach 73,500 by 2025, with custom build offering the scope to grow the sector with more serviced plots.
- The Federation of Master Builders represents 7,500 SME firms across the UK, half of which build new homes. FMB members expect to build more than 12,000 new homes in 2021. Members of the public can source contractors using its Find a Builder database.
- Currently there are 10,780 community led homes in ‘live applications’ on Homes England system awaiting delivery, part of a wider pipeline of 23,000 homes. Many of these homes are reliant on the Government’s Community Housing Fund – which was closed in March. Getting it reinstated is one of the main ambitions of Housing Diversification.
- Community Land Trusts are a community-led housing model, where the land is held in trust, meaning that affordability is locked in for good. Cohousing refers to groups of people wishing to live together – as an ‘intentional’ community.
- You can find out more about these community-led housing models, and others, as well as how to start a group, on the Community Led Homes website.
Andrew Baddeley-Chappell, CEO, National Custom and Self Build Association and spokesperson for the group said: “Despite the importance of houses to our lives and the scale of their cost, there is currently too little choice when it comes to new homes in this country.
“We have come together as Housing Diversification to deliver more passion, quality, and care into the new homes and the new communities that we, as a nation, need to be creating. Just like any other market, increasing diversification will improve quality, innovation, and value. We will deliver homes more people want to live in and that more welcome being built.”
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.
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
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.
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
In the recently published Planning for the Future White Paper, Government sent out a radical proposal for planning in England to change. NaCSBA welcomed the potential changes, saying that the ideas should improve the outlook for custom and self build.
The reforms put forward are based around a distinct change in how we deliver planning in England, relying on a simplified idea of zoning for land, combined with design codes that will frame what can be built, where.
- Growth Areas – this would be land earmarked as being “suitable for substantial development”,
- Renewal Areas – land in this category would be classed as “suitable for development”. This could cover a range of existing land types, such as brownfield, infill opportunities and existing built development, and
- Protected Areas – this would see land, such as the countryside, having far more stringent controls covering what is, and isn’t allowable.
If they go ahead, the reforms would be the biggest shake up of planning nationally since the 1940s, when the present system was created.
NaCSBA welcomes the proposals, saying that change is needed, and will result in more custom build and self build homes being built.
Planning proposals for self build
Under the proposals put forward by Planning for the Future, custom build and self build will be supported by:
In addition, there would remain a commitment to the Right to Build, although NaCSBA maintains that this needs to be strengthened to make it more robust and give more people access to self build. This would build on the successes made so far.
Andrew Baddeley-Chappell, NaCSBA CEO, said: “For too long our planning system and our housing market has been stuck in a rut.
“Consumer choice is the key to more and better homes that more people aspire to live in and that communities are happier to see built. There is huge potential to be unlocked. With choice comes responsibility and the local design codes will help ensure that these cherished new homes are fitting additions to their surroundings.
The message to the public is clear, the choice that you expect with every other product is now coming to the housing market – prepare to be excited and inspired.”
Planning for the Future is in a consultation stage, and is inviting people to respond to its recommendations.
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.
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
In addition the data demonstrated that:
- 31% of councils now impose some restriction on joining registers, up from 26% last year.
- The proportion of local connection tests (30%) and charges (15%) both continue to rise, although in both cases the rate has slowed.
- It was not possible to establish actual delivery as required by the legislation, due to the mixed picture of activity. To date only 58% of Councils have indicated they have complied, 23% appear not to have complied and 19% have either not responded to our request or have not answered the question.
- For the first time NaCSBA tracked Community Infrastructure Levy exemptions as a source of evidence for provision of self build homes. Again using extrapolation, this found that 6,000 homes were being built across the country could quality for CIL, were it administered by every local authority.
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 email@example.com
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.
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.
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.
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.
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