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The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) has announced a new “Help to Build” scheme with the intention of making “it easier and more affordable for people to build their own homes.”

Housing Secretary Rt Hon Robert Jenrick MP announced in April 2021 that “building your own home shouldn’t be the preserve of a small number of people, but a mainstream, realistic and affordable option for people across the country.”

The government aims to increase the number of self and custom build homes to an average of 300,000 homes a year with the Help to Build scheme delivering 30,000 to 40,000 of those homes each year, often making use of small sites of little interest to the major builders.

Richard Bacon MP led a review to establish a plan for scaling up of the delivery of self and custom build homes (CSB homes”). Bacon urged the need to diversify the housebuilding sector to avoid becoming “two nations” in that “one generation struggles to find somewhere to live at all, while the other adds to its buy-to-let portfolio”. The solution, according to Bacon, is to build them ourselves.

The Bacon Report was published on 21 August 2021:
Independent review into scaling up self-build and custom housebuilding: report – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

The Bacon Report makes six main recommendations for the major scaling up of the number of CSB homes, to boost capacity and overall housing supply including a new Custom and Self-Build Housing Delivery Unit (within Homes England) and the development of a “Show Park”, to raise awareness of the CSB sector. This would be accompanied by more robust legislation, to increase publicity of a Self-build and Custom Housebuilding Registers.

Other proposals include:
• Reigniting the Community Housing Fund and creating accessible opportunities for communities to build.

• Recognising the role of the CSB sector in promoting advanced manufacturing techniques and greener homes, to accelerate the delivery of the government’s ambitions in Modern Methods of Construction and Net Zero Housing.

• Ensuring that planning reforms maximise the opportunities for access to permissioned land for CSB development across all tenures and ironing out any tax disadvantages between the CSB model and other forms of housing.

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government intends to publish more detail on the Help to Build scheme, together with an official response to the Bacon Review, in the autumn.

Government funding of £150 million will be paid into the Help to Build Scheme with the aim of enabling low deposit mortgages for those wanting to build their own home. Like the Help to Buy scheme, Help to Build will provide an equity loan on the completed home and applications for the scheme are due to open in late summer.

The concept of custom-build sites are already on the rise with sites such as Graven Hill in Oxfordshire which will see “the creation of up to 1,900 self-build, custom build and affordable homes as well as community infrastructure and beautiful green spaces”.

Custom Build & Self Build Homes | Biggest Community in UK | Graven Hill

If you are considering building your own property or indeed are planning any kind of residential development scheme, then Walker Solicitors have a team of experienced lawyers specialising in every area of development and can provide practical advice and solutions all along the way. To discuss further please get in touch with a member of our development team.

Jonathan Walker - Partner








About the Author, Jonathan Walker.

Jonathan joined the firm as a trainee in 2004, qualified as a solicitor in 2007 and became a partner in 2011.
Head of the Commercial and Residential Property Department.
Fully qualified member of the Society of Trusts and Estate Practitioners (STEP)

T:   01922 639 080

@:  jwj@walkersolicitors.com

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