Malpas Self- Build Housing Information Sheet
Title: West Cheshire Self Build Register
There is a new requirement for local planning authorities to keep a register of those who want to build their own homes
The Self Build and Custom House building Act 2015 requires the Council to keep a register of eligible individuals and groups who wish to self-build.
The provisions in the Act have recently been reinforced by the Housing and Planning Act 2016, with local planning authorities obliged to identify suitable serviced plots with planning permission within the borough to meet this demand from April 2016.
The Cheshire West and Chester register to assess demand for self and custom building was launched in January 2016, asking potential self-builders to complete a questionnaire on the type of project they are interested in. Please note that joining the Register does not guarantee that the Council will identify a suitable site for you. At this stage the register will be used as an evidence to inform policy.
While there are many variations on self-build, essentially there are three main viable options in Cheshire West and Chester:-
- Community self-build schemes to provide low cost market or affordable housing for local households, particularly in rural areas for small developments. A Community Land Trust (CLT) would purchase the land, obtain planning permission and manage the project.
- Serviced Plots will provide the main delivery tool to meet the Self Build and Custom House Building Act; sites will be identified according to the demand identified through the self-build register.
- Self-finish affordable housing schemes or "sweat equity schemes" where occupants are offered a discounted shared ownership or reduced rent according to the level of finishing off they undertake.
As with the Council's social housing register, the self-build register will be managed by the Strategic Housing service to ensure that data is regularly reviewed to remove out of date information. Work is now underway on Local Plan (Part Two) policies to ensure self-build plots are provided as part of housing developments and some Neighbourhood Plans. A rural housing delivery toolkit is also being produced to help individuals and communities develop housing that meets local needs.
It is not proposed that the Council will "offer" sites to applicants on the register, although when land owners come forward with sites specifically for self-build, their details will be passed on to applicants on the register who are seeking that type and location of plot. There are however many sites with planning permission that can be used for custom / self-build, with some self-builders already granted planning permission on suitable plots.
For further advice on completing the questionnaire or the register please contact:
Telephone: 0151 356 6410
For further advice on the Housing Land Monitor and Local Plan (Part 2) Policies please contact:
Telephone: 01244 605 086
Self-Build Housing — Questions and Answers
Ques: How do people register for self-build plots in a specific area?
Ans: Cheshire West and Chester Council has its own Custom & Self Build register which can be accessed using the following link:
Ques: Is the Council only offering sites with existing planning permissions or are they actively looking for landowners to provide new sites?
Ans: The register has now been active for 6 months and a review of demand for self-build homes has been undertaken. It is not proposed that the Council will "offer" sites, although when land owners come forward with sites specifically for self-build, their details can be passed on to applicants on the register who are seeking that type and location of plot. There are many sites with planning permission that can be used for custom / self-build. These sites are listed at the end of the Housing Land Monitor which is produced annually by the Council's planning team and can be accessed using the self build link above, although these permissions are often applied for and implemented by the applicant and / or landowner and are therefore not available for purchase.
In addition the Local Plan (Part Two) is seeking to develop policies that ensures self-build plots are provided as part of housing developments and some Neighbourhood Plans, as part of the Neighbourhood Planning process communities may put out a call for sites to meet demand in their local area.
Ques: Are landowners being encouraged to come forward with self-build plots — this could be a very effective way to provide affordable housing in the rural area?
Ans: The aim of the register is to assess demand and have a single point of reference for those wishing to self-build. Given the relatively low numbers of applicants on the register, many of which have no local connection to the borough, it is not proposed to actively encourage landowners to come forward with plots for self-build, unless it is through Neighbourhood Planning. In addition, the majority of applicants on the Council self-build register want to build large detached dwellings in the rural area and would not qualify as being in housing or economic need of affordable housing. Self-build plots can increase the range and choice of all types of housing — it is not proposed to restrict potential sites to affordable housing as defined in the National Planning Policy Framework.
Ques: Are the Council offering sites in the areas they feel should be developed or are they considering sites across the borough?
Ans: Through Neighbourhood Planning, rural communities are being encouraged to identify sites and form Community Land Trusts to build their own affordable housing.