Bid to raise awareness of Self-Build Act

More than threequarters (77%) of people in the UK are unaware councils are now required to keep a register of those looking to buy land to carry out self-build projects.

Self build imageResearch by Ipswich Building Society and the National Custom and Self Build Association has also found that almost 1 in 5 (19%) people in the UK believe there would be increased public support for the building of new homes if self or custom-build properties contributed to a greater proportion of new homes.

This could change following the Self-Build and Custom Housebuilding Act (also known as the Right to Build Act) coming into force on 1 April 2016.

The registers will work alongside measures due to come into force in the upcoming Housing and Planning Bill, which will require authorities to ensure they have sufficient permissioned plots to match the local demand on their register.

Findings reveal that 1 in 8 people (12%) expect to show an interest in self-build property within the next year.  This figure has remained constant since the annual survey was launched in 2013.

However, just 1 in 50 (2%) people stated their intention to take specific actions to progress their self-build projects, such as purchasing land, submitting a planning application or starting construction, within the next 12 months.

Paul Winter, CEO of Ipswich Building Society, comments: “At a time when much of the UK is experiencing a housing shortage, more needs to be done to raise awareness of this new legislation and encourage those looking for a new home to consider undertaking self and custom build projects.

“Due to the complex nature of a self-build project, those seeking these specialist mortgages are advised to research the market and seek out a provider, and product, that best suits their individual needs and circumstances.”

And NaCSBA chairman Michael Holmes adds:  “The success of the Right to Build Policy initiative, and the delivery of land to meet the huge pent up demand, depends on the registers. The research shows that 77% of people aren’t aware of the registers.

“This figure needs to change. NaCSBA is working to raise the public profile and support councils across the country to ensure that they have the correct measures in place. Currently, only 35% of local planning authorities have adopted a register and our aim is to get this to 100%.”

Raymond Connor, CEO of BuildStore – a business providing solutions and products for self-builders and renovators – supports NaCSBA’s aim of raising awareness of the Self-Build Act.

He says: “The research shows there is a significant gap between those interested in self-build and those who intend to take specific action to progress self-build projects.

“However, it is likely this sector will grow when more people are aware the main challenge of finding a suitable plot of land has now been simplified.  This is thanks to the new Right To Build legislation, which is both innovative and unique in Western Europe.”

Image courtesy of Nina Hale