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Self-builders given 'shovel-ready' site boost by Boles

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Self-builders given 'shovel-ready' site boost by Boles

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Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Central Government, Development

Self-builders given 'shovel-ready' site boost by Boles Self-builders given 'shovel-ready' site boost by Boles

Those dreaming of building their own home will now be able to turn to their local authority to realise their vision, under measures announced today.

Planning Minister Nick Boles said he would give aspiring self and custom builders a new 'right to build', which would enable them to ask their council to identify a shovel-ready site for their project.

Prospective self and custom builders will be able to register their interest with their council, who will then be required to offer suitable serviced plots for sale at market value.

The government claims that housebuilding is a key part of its long-term economic plan, with self-builders poised to play a key role.

Research by Ipsos MORI found that over a million people desire to build their own home – but the biggest barrier to their plans is finding a suitable plot of land.

Self-build accounts for just 10% of new homes in the UK – compared to 60% in Germany, France and Italy, and 80% in Austria.

MP Boles has invited the country's councils to come forward and become 'vanguard authorities' to get the right to build up and running in their area.

The lessons learned by the areas that volunteer themselves will then form a crucial part of a consultation later this year on extending the right to build across the country.

Boles said: “I believe that government should help anyone who wants to build their own home to find a plot of land to build on.

"That’s why we want to give people a right to build so anyone looking for a shovel-ready plot can turn to their local council and expect them to suggest some suitable sites.

"Building your own home (with or without the help of a local architect and builder) can be much cheaper than buying a new home and offers people the change to design a place that works for them and their family. Becoming a Right to Build vanguard offers councils a way to help local people get a place to live which is designed and built locally."

The right to build is one of a range of measures the government says it has introduced to help aspiring self-builders. Other initiatives include:

• A £150 million investment fund for 10,000 ‘serviced plots’, shovel-ready sites where a developer can be hired to build a home.
• Making custom-builders exempt from paying the community infrastructure levy.
• Introducing a new £30 million custom build Homes fund, which makes available repayable finance for larger multi-unit projects and grant funding for community self-builders.
• Planning guidance that makes clear councils should help custom-builders and establish demand in their area.

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