13 May 2019
Victoria Prentis MP has said that increasing our custom building housing stock is a practical way to solve the country’s housing woes.
Identifying that only 8% of the housing stock was built via custom build, Prentis highlighted that access to land, finance and the planning system are the main barriers to self-build and that Cherwell District Council, through its Graven Hill self build site, is doing much to alleviate the burdens.
The National Federation of Builders (NFB) welcomes another MP recognising the barriers facing smaller developments and is delighted that decision-makers are beginning to understand the financial, community and environmental benefits of self build.
The popularity of self build has not been helped by local authorities focussing on large sites to meet housing demand. They often lack a local self build policy and have failed to capitalise on the self build and custom register which the Government asked local authorities to implement from 2016.
When those failures are added to a broken planning system and the shortage of skilled workers, self build becomes a daunting proposition.
Richard Beresford, chief executive of the NFB, said: “The Government backed self build but too few local authorities have realised its true potential. Self build homes are typically built by local developers, who win work on reputation and employ locally, therefore contributing to local housing and local employment. What’s not to love?”
Rico Wojtulewicz, head of housing and planning policy at the House Builders Association (HBA), said: “We are 100% behind self and custom build but it needs to be supported through planning policy. Despite being in place for a couple of years, too few homes are enabled through the self build register and this means that councils aren’t doing anywhere near enough to get right homes built in the right places. Self build is part of the solution to the housing crisis.”