New research carried out by the National Custom and Self Build Association (NaCSBA) has revealed that around 18,000 people have signed up to local authority custom-and self-build registers to exercise their ‘Right to Build’.
Since April 1, 2016 all local authorities in England are required to establish an accessible self-and custom-build demand register so that individuals and groups can record their interest to buy a serviced plot in their area and build their own home.
Additional legislation, which came into force on October 31, 2016, requires local authorities in England to give consent for sufficient serviced plots to meet the demand as shown on their register in the first base period (April 1 to October 31).
Data requested by NaCSBA under the Freedom of Information Act from 336 local authorities has revealed that around 14,300 people signed up to the registers between April 1 and October 31, 2016.
In addition, 12 councils became vanguards in 2014 and set up their own demand registers at this point. Since then about 3,700 people, including groups, have signed up to the vanguard registers.
MP Richard Bacon, chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Self-Build, Custom and Community Housebuilding and Placemaking, said:
“I’m delighted that about 18,000 have so far signed up to the Right to Build registers across England.
“Cherwell Council has over 2,000 people registered showing the true potential of custom and self-build. Several local authorities now have over 100 people registered, but still too many have under 10 names. Twenty authorities have yet to set up registers or to market them. Imagine the potential once all the registers are up and running and, like Cherwell Council, all councils apply full effort to marketing their registers,” Mr Bacon said.
NaCSBA chair Michael Holmes described the number signing the register as a great achievement but only the tip of the iceberg.
“Some councils have only operated their registers for a few months and some have yet to establish theirs.
“The potential is immense and if local authorities can consent their serviced plots in a timely manner the Right to Build could play a big role in meeting the government’s target of building 20,000 custom-and self-build homes a year by 2020.”
Local authorities have up to three years to meet their obligation. “With the number of people now registering month-on-month it is essential they start consenting serviced plots now to stay on top of meeting this demand,” Mr Holmes said.
“It is encouraging to see that a number of local authorities have already made a start consenting serviced plots.”