We are now gathering data for the Right to Build!

On 1st April 2016 the Local Self Build Register was re-launched in a brand new format. We are now acting as a formal registration hub for applications to the ‘Right to Build’ registers of local authorities in England. This means that if you want to register your interest in a self of custom build plot in England, you can use our service to either register directly with any local authority that is signed up to our service.

We are still also acting as a catalyst for change, helping create more opportunities for self build, custom build and community-led housing by collecting and publishing statistics on demand for these types of housing. So you can still help us create change by leaving your details here, even if you don’t complete a formal registration with a local authority.

How does it work?

All local authorities in England – including both local councils and National Park Authorities – must have a register of interest set up. Some are using the Local Self Build Register to gather this information or are planning to do so soon, while some have set up their own registers.

The regulations stipulate that local registers are open to anyone over the age of 18 who is either a British Citizen or national of another EEA state or of Switzerland. It is possible to apply as an individual, a couple or an association (i.e. a group of people wanting to build homes together). You are only eligible to be added if you plan to build a home that you will live in as your primary residence – so this excludes housing developers who plan to sell their homes and people wanting to build a holiday home.

When you fill in your details, we will tell you which local authorities that you selected are using our service and which are using their own systems, to make it easier for you to go directly to the right place to register. New applicants will also receive an automated response to let them know whether their registration has been successful.

What can I do to make sure my name is on the list in places where I’d like to build?

If you want to register with any local authority that is not using the Local Self Build Register, we strongly recommend that you visit their website and find out how they are inviting people to register. If they have their own register, you’ll need to fill it in if you want to be added. If it isn’t clear that they have a register, give them a call (it’s often the planning policy team that is responsible), and ask them directly. Local authorities can get in touch with us if they want to know about demand in their area.

What will happen once I’ve been accepted onto my local register?

New legislation coming into force on 31st October 2016 stipulates that local authorities in England have a three-year deadline from that date to grant planning permission with respect to a sufficient number of serviced plots for self-build and custom housebuilding. They will calculate this number using data from their local registers. So once you are on your local register, your details should count towards this total.

For example, if 500 people applied to go on the register for a particular local authority during a year, over the following three-year period the council would have to grant planning permission for development that could include self build or custom build housing up to a total of 500 homes.

If during the following year another 400 people registered, the council would need to provide planning permission for those plots within three years of the end of that year – i.e. the planning requirements are calculated on a rolling three-year basis.

This isn’t the same as offering plots for sale to people on the list, so just being on the local register may not guarantee that you will be offered a plot – although it may do, depending on the council. However it should have the effect of creating more opportunities for self build and custom build in your area. We recommend that you still need to look out for plots and take action if you want to buy one.

What about elsewhere in the UK?

Councils in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland are currently not required to assess demand in the same way as they are in England. However they may still wish to access details from the Local Self Build Register to inform their local policies. If you would like your local council to find out more about demand for self build, get in touch with them and let them know you have submitted your details here.

More than just a Register…

Regardless of where you want to build, we will continue to post details of self and custom build project opportunities across the whole of the UK in the Local Self Build Register newsletter, which is emailed out to registrants.