Right to Build

Housing secretary announces review on Right to Build

Housing secretary Robert Jenrick has announced a review to make it easier for people to build their own home.

Currently, councils are required to keep a register of those who wish to build in their local area, and grant planning permission to enough suitable plots to match the demand on the register by 30th October each year (‘Right to Build’ day).

The review will examine how effectively the current arrangements support self and custom building, including whether they increase land available to support these homes.

Jenrick has also announced that the data councils collect on self and custom build in the area will now be published annually to increase transparency, help understand how councils are meeting the needs of their communities, and support developers understand the demand.

The housing secretary has written to councils to ensure they consider the demand for these homes when providing land for building and making planning decisions in their area.

“We are backing people who want to design and build their own home,” said Jenrick.

He added that the review would help more people get a foot on the housing ladder and support the building industry.

Andrew Baddeley-Chappell, CEO at the National Custom & Self Build Association (NaCSBA), said: “Our new homes market is crying out for the greener and higher quality build that goes hand-in-hand with more consumer choice. 

“Housing diversification is key to the government’s housing strategy.

“This excellent announcement today by the government should help many more people achieve the dream of living in better and more beautiful homes.”

Richard Bacon MP, ambassador for the Right to Build Task Force, welcomed the government’s review of the current law. 

“For many years, I have campaigned to increase real choices for the large number of people who want to build their own home or commission a home to their own design from a local SME builder. 

“This led to my private member’s bill becoming the Self-Build and Custom Housebuilding Act, which the government has subsequently strengthened.

“We need to make sure every council is able to deliver on this important agenda, which will help provide more high-quality homes.”

The Federation of Master Builders (FMB) also responded positively to the announcement, saying that the review will prove valuable for local communities and SME housebuilders.

Brian Berry, chief executive at the FMB, said: “It’s no secret that this country is in need of more, high quality, sustainable homes, so this boost to Right to Build is welcome. 

“The housing secretary’s determination to increase diversification in the housing market and promote greater numbers of self and custom builds is good news for small- to medium-sized (SME) housebuilders. 

“Reversing the decline of SME housebuilders . . . will mean more development that truly caters for local communities.”

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