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Council approves 'UK's first enabled self-build scheme'

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Council approves 'UK's first enabled self-build scheme'

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Published by 24publishing for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Central Government, Communities, Local Government

Council approves 'UK's first enabled self-build scheme' Council approves 'UK's first enabled self-build scheme'

Plans for a unique new development exclusively for self build homes in Swindon have been given the go ahead by Swindon Borough Council’s Cabinet.

The enabled Custom Build scheme, a joint initiative between Swindon Borough Council and self build specialists BuildStore Financial Services, is the first of its kind in the country.

The scheme will offer 12 self build plots in West Swindon for people to design and build their own homes, in a bid to tackle the shortage of suitable homes in the area. There is a potential for a further 13 plots to be released on the same site at a later date.

The development, Windmill Green, on the site of the Former Windmill Hill Primary School, is the first local authority-backed development to exclusively offer self build plots and options for assisted self build.

Around 13,800 custom homes were completed in the UK in 2010/11, according to Government figures.

Housing minister Grant Shapps has announced plans to double the size of the self-build market over the next decade to create up to 100,000 additional self build homes.

As well as working with the industry to open up more opportunities for self building, and removing some bureaucratic obstacles, the Government is encouraging local authorities to make public sector land available for new housing.

The latest draft of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) places an obligation on councils to identify and address interest in self build in their local housing plans, ensuring that opportunities for self build are provided to meet the demand.

The enabled self build option offered via the development with Swindon Borough Council has been heralded as flagship exemplar project, which has potential to be rolled out across the country.

A total of 12 plots will be available for sale, complete with detailed planning permission for detached 1,200ft²  four-bedroom homes. BuildStore will arrange the funding for each self builder, by providing advance stage payment mortgages from its mortgage lender panel, to purchase the plot and fund the build through to completion.

Each plot will have all mains services connected and other infrastructure, so the self builders can simply start building their homes, selecting their own features and specifications from a design code.

Director of BuildStore’s Custom Build division, Nigel Fee, said: “Building your own home is an aspiration for thousands of people, and with the backing of the UK Government, it will soon become a reality for more people than ever before.

“Self build is a realistic alternative to the existing housing market for people wishing to get on or move up the property ladder, and this new development is a perfect example of that.

“We are delighted to be working with Swindon Borough Council on this scheme; they have shown a real commitment to the project and to providing housing solutions that are more desirable and affordable in the Swindon area. It is a great example of how the public and private sectors can work and invest together, to make a difference and meet the needs of the local people.”

Leader of Swindon Borough Council, Roderick Bluh, added: “This self build scheme is an exciting concept and reflects our commitment to providing quality homes that are more affordable for local people. Self build housing is a great way for us to ensure that the people of Swindon get the homes that they want and need. As the first Council in the UK to offer this type of development, we are confident that this is model that will be seen up and down the country soon.”

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