Searching for a building plot?

You have the Right to Build your own home

English councils have to keep a list of anyone who wants to self build or custom build. Use this tool to find all the registers local to you.

*If you have not registered with the Self Build Portal, you will need to do so search for your register

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This tool gives you easy access to your local self build registers, as many are hidden in council websites.

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Check if your council charges a fee to register.

Please note, you must be a registered Self Build Portal user to use this tool, and be logged in to use this search. By using this search you are agreeing to our Terms & Conditions, and you will be listed as a user of the NaCSBA’s website.

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    An illustration of a wooden house with big windows

    The Right to Build registers

    Use this page to search for Right to Build registers near you, and find out how many people have already signed up. From here you can link directly to the council’s register and register with them. 

    If any of the results don’t look right email us at with the subject: Register search issues.

    *You need to register to search for a register

    What is the Right to Build?

    Everyone in England is entitled to sign up to the Right to Build registers in their neighbourhood, under the Right to Build legislation.

    Exercise your Right to Build by signing up to your local self build registers. NaCSBA can help you register with the relevant local authority through the Right to Build Portal, which links you to all the registers near you.

    Since 1 April 2016, the Right to Build requires local authorities in England to maintain a register of people and groups in their area who want to have a role in an owner-commissioned home, whether that be for Custom Building, Self Building or through community-led housing, such as cohousing or Community Land Trusts. People can either sign up as individuals, or as groups of people who want to build together.

    The Right to Build is a piece of legislation for English authorities, that supports aspiring custom and self builders who want to build their own homes. The situation is different in  Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland.

    Councils must ensure they have sufficient ‘shovel-ready’ plots to meet this demand, and they have three years from signing up, measured from the end of October each year.

    To do this, they need to give suitable development permission (planning permissions or permissions in principle) for these serviced plots.

    Unhappy about the charge – Complain!

    Click below to download a template letter to complain about charges or local connection tests. It will be saved to your downloads folder.  Google your council’s complaints department, and we also suggest emailing it to: the council’s planning office, your local MP (Find yours, here) and copying in NaCSBA (Check you are happy with our Privacy Policy about how we handle this data if you do this).

    NaCSBA is looking into those councils that charge, to ensure that their fees are reflective of the costs associated with running the register.

    Complain about charges

    Some councils are now charging people to sign up on their Right to Build register (see the FAQ, right). If your council is doing this, and you’re unhappy about it, use this template letter to register your complaint.

    Complain about eligibility tests

    Some may be applying eligibility tests to their Right to Build register, which while they are allowed can seem unfair.Use this template letter to register your complaint if you feel they are unjustified.


    Council’s do have the right to charge you for signing the register. It is up to each council to decide if they charge or not, and by how much, although the regulations says that the charge must be reasonable, in connection with the costs of running the registers. Some registers have levied hefty fees, most none at all. NaCSBA is working to improve the situation for anyone wanting to Self-build.

    A local connection means that you live, work or have some other connection to the area. This may be required by councils for their register, but by insisting on this they must run a two-part register, with Part 1 containing this criteria. Councils then legally have a duty to this Part 1 list in providing plots. Anyone without a local connection will joint the Part 2 list, which means the council may use the list to inform policy, or even supply plots, but there is no duty to do so.

    A permissioned plot refers to a plot of land suitable for self or custom build, which has been granted planning permission. A serviced plot is a plot where the infrastructure, such as roads and access, have been taken care of, and services run to the plot. So the plot is in a ready-to-build state. All custom build plots are serviced-plots, where as Self build plots may be serviced-plots, or could be undeveloped land where the owner has to negotiate road access and services.

    No, councils must host a register under the Right to Build Legislation, but they can do this through a third-party company, such as the Local Self Build Register.

    The Right to Build registers allow you to register your interest that you want to self build, and often allow you to share information about the sort of plot you require.
    Unfortunately this does not mean that the council will permission the sort of plots that would suit you, in the area you prefer. Rather it’s a way of demonstrating to the council the amount of people who are interested in building and the sort of home they are interested in building. The council will consider this as part of their housing provision plans.

    The Right to Build legislation is a piece of English legislation, and there are no comparable pieces of policy, nor registers, in the other countries of the UK. However, Scotland does now have legislation for maintaining registers but without the requirement to consider these find out more.

    Yes, but you must register as an individual as well. A group could be private individuals pooling resources and buying power by working together, or community-led housing groups like cohousing or Community Land Trusts.

    The Right To Build legislation is clear that individuals and associations of individuals can sign local authority registers. And while it is clear that the needs of a group will not be met with disparate individual plots, the law does not set out how plots should be delivered. NaCSBA, and the sector, relies on local authorities to apply the letter and the spirit of the legislation, and if they do not, the tools we have to address this are limited. NaCSBA is aware of these issues and continues to campaign to support better processes.

    NaCSBA is keeping a close eye on the progress of the Right to Build registers. They came into being in April 2016, and the first three-year base period ended in October 2019. At this point, each council should have granted planning permission on enough plots to meet the numbers that signed up between April-October 2016. But we know this was not the case.
    Progress is mixed, and varies from council to council.
    NaCSBA continues to monitor the situation and presses Government if it looks like not enough plots have come forward across the country.

    You have the right to speak to someone in your local planning department and ask what progress is being made locally, as well as how many people are on the registers.
    If you feel that your local authority is not acting on their Right to Build duty, you can put pressure on them to meet their legal obligations.
    Consider writing to both the councils and your local MP, and ask others who are interested in building their own home to do the same. It may be worth contacting your local paper to see if they’d be interested in reporting on the progress – or lack of it – happening locally.

    Local authorities have the choice to charge for the register if they wish, and prices can vary. Part of the logic for this is for councils to identify real self builders ready to build from dreamers. NaCSBA is working to help standardise the approach.

    Like with charging, local authorities have the choice to put local connection tests in place, to try to prioritise local people. These vary, but are typically people who live, work or have a strong connection to an area. Again, NaCSBA is working to help standardise this.

    Yes, always. As well as the prime function of ensuring your council is aware of your desire, the registers form a body of demand. This can be used to add weight in planning applications, and is starting to result in planning appeals being awarded. This means more plots come forwards locally, so it is always worth signing up, even if you are not convinced the right  plot for you will be permissioned.

    NaCSBA’s role in the Right to Build

    This website, the Self Build Portal, is the consumer website of the National Custom and Self Build Association. NaCSBA has successfully lobbied government to allow more people to self build, and worked with it to support the Right to Build  local Registers. These came into being in 2016 following the Self-Build and Custom Housebuilding Act 2015.