The Self-Build and Custom Housebuilding Act 2015 placed a legal duty on Local Authorities to keep a register of individuals and associations of individuals (i.e. groups) who want to purchase serviced plots of land. The Act also requires Local Authorities to have regard to this register when carrying out its planning functions. This is summarised as;

“Relevant authorities must give suitable development permission to enough suitable serviced plots of land to meet the demand for self-build and custom housebuilding in their area. The level of demand is established by reference to the number of entries added to an authority’s register during a base period”.

Our experience has been that Local Authorities across the country are making the assumption that all single dwelling permissions which they grant count towards meeting demand on the register. However, the vast majority of single dwelling permissions are developed and sold on the open market in the traditional way and do not meet the demand as demonstrated on an Authority‘s Right to Build Register.

Recent appeal decisions have set out that the burden of proof is upon Local Authorities to demonstrate that there is sufficient evidence to prove that permissions they are counting towards meeting demand on their Register would be developed in a manner that accords with the legal definition of self-build and custom housebuilding.

In the absence of such proof, a site would not constitute the legal definition of self-build and custom housebuilding plots and cannot therefore be counted towards meeting demand on the Register.

This provides an opportunity for landowners to secure planning permission for custom and self-build plots, which will weigh heavily in favour of the proposal where a Local Planning Authority currently fails to meet the demand for self-build plots in their area.

Please get in touch on 01332 206222 if you would like to discuss the potential of any parcel of land for custom or self-build development.