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RIGHT TO BUILD DAY - 30th October 2019

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England's first ever Right to Build Day takes place on 30th October 2019. This is the single most important day in the history of those building or commissioning their own home.

Around 12,000 homes a year are delivered through self-build developments in England, just 7% of the total. This is a far smaller proportion of house construction than in most of Europe (over 50%) or the USA (around 45%).

The government is keen to promote choice and opportunity in the housing market and has promoted initiatives to increase the delivery of self-build homes to 20,000 a year. The Self-build and Custom Housebuilding Act 2015 (as amended by the Housing and Planning Act 2016) provides the legal definition of self-build and custom housing.

Local Planning Authorities are required to keep a self-build and custom housebuilding register of individuals and associations of individuals who are seeking to acquire serviced plots of land in the authority’s area for their own self-build and custom housebuilding.

The Act sets out a requirement for councils to grant “suitable development permission” for enough serviced plots to meet the demand for self-build homes.

In practice, the timing of the legislation meant that the first period for considering demand ran from 1 April 2016 to 30 October 2016. It follows therefore that plots to match the numbers on the register must be delivered by 30th October 2019 – the first Right to Build Day. Given that there were 18,000 individuals on Registers as at 30 October 2016, 18,000 plots must have been permissioned between 1 April 2016 and 30 October 2019.

The full picture will become clear when information from local authorities on their registers and their delivery up until 30 October 2019 has been gathered and published by the National Custom and Self Build Association (NaCSBA) in early 2020.

Change is urgently needed to deliver the level of housing the country needs. While self-build alone won’t solve the housing crisis, it’s a step in the right direction.

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