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Self build and custom build register monitoring report

Monitoring report

Self Build and Custom Build - Authority Monitoring Report

Last updated 2020

The Self-build and Custom Housebuilding Act (March 2015) places a duty on local councils in England to maintain a register of individuals and associations who are interested in finding a serviced plot of land for self-build or custom build homes in their Local Authority area.

Wyre Forest District Council developed its Self-build and Custom build Register in accordance with the Self-build and Custom Housebuilding Planning Practice Guidance (April 2016).  Web pages for both the register and information on community-led housing were also developed to ensure relevant information could easily be found online.  The register is located at www.wyreforestdc.gov.uk/sbr and further information on community-led housing can be found at www.wyreforestdc.gov.uk/clh.

There are two community-led housing groups in Wyre Forest, the Wyre Forest Community Land Trust and Wyre Forest Cohousing.  The latter having registered as an Association on the District’s Self-build and Custom build Register.

The Self-build and Custom Housebuilding (Register) Regulations 2016 commenced on 1st April 2016.  The first input to the Wyre Forest District Council Register was on 3 April 2016.

In May 2019, the Council carried out a review of the Register in order to ascertain how much demand there was for plots and to check if those already on the Register still wished to remain included.

The Council also updated the online registration process to request consent for personal details (name and address) to be shared with Developers who may be able to offer serviced plots in the future.

Number of Individuals on the register

On October 30 2020, there are a total of 33 individuals on the Register and 1 Association.  Of those 33 individuals, 28 have a Local Connection and 6 do not. To date, all members of the Association have a Local Connection.

Number of plots sought

By the end of October 2020, a total of 33 plots are sought plus a site for a Cohousing community (number of plots needed is unknown at this stage).  

Location preferences

Table 1 illustrates the vast majority of preferences are in rural and village locations.   Out of the District’s three towns, there is significantly more interest in Bewdley Town (14) compared to Kidderminster Town (4) and Stourport Town (2).  

Table 1

Location

(listed in order of preference)

Number of times selected

Far Forest 

15

Bewdley Town 

14

Arley 

13

Cookley

13

Rock 

13

Shatterford

12

Stone

11

Chaddesley Corbett

11

Wolverley

11

Blakedown 

10

Churchill

10

Harvington 

9

Low Habberley

8

Wribbenhall 

8

Wilden

8

Spennells

8

Offmore

7

Rushock

7

Worcester Road

7

Kidderminster Town

7

Hoobrook / Aggborough Crescent

7

Comberton

6

Areley Kings

6

Stourport Town

6

Hurcott Road

6

Lickhill  

5

Hales Park

5

Newtown

5

Walshes

5

Lark Hill

5

Bark Hill

5

Baxter Gardens

4

Sutton Farm

4

Charles St / George St

4

Broadwaters

4

Birchen Coppice

4

Juniper Court

4

Park Street

4

Rifle Range

4

Wood St Estate

4

Habberley

4

Franche

4

Foley Park

2


Plot size

The majority of individuals on the register are seeking larger plots with most demand being for 3-bedroom homes.  There is also significant interest in 4-bedroom homes. There wasn’t any interest in 1-bedroom homes. 

Number of bedrooms

Demand

1

0

2

5

3

16

4

9

5

2

5 plus

1

Did not answer the question

0

Pie chart of data in plot size required table

Type of housing to be built

The self-build registration process includes a request for the ‘type’ of self-build / custom build individuals are most keen to pursue.  An explanation of each model is provided on the Council’s website and set out below:

DIY custom build

The customer buys a plot and builds their own home to their own specification.

Self finish custom build

The customer buys a serviced plot from an enabler who owns a number of plots on a site, works with the enabler to create a home to their specification which is then built to be wind and watertight.  The customer takes over the remaining elements themselves or employs subcontractors.

Full turn key custom build

The customer buys a serviced plot from an enabler who owns a number of plots on a site. They work with the enabler to design their home to their specification and individual lifestyle.  The house is completed by the enabling developer to a fixed budget and timescale.

Independent community custom build

Where a group of individuals join forces to purchase a large site which is split into individual plots. They are involved in the planning, design and building of their own home.  By working as part of a group costs are minimised both in terms of labour and materials.

Supported community custom build

As above a group of individuals come together to share their skills, boost their knowledge of building and create a number of houses collectively.  Some groups form themselves and others are formed by housing associations or other agencies.

Cohousing custom build

Cohousing communities are intentional communities created and run by their residents.  Each household has a self-contained, personal and private home, but residents come together to manage their community, share activities, eat together.

Affordable custom build

Those on a low income can participate in the planning, design and building of their own homes through custom build. They can learn a range of new skills and save money through sweat equity.

Levels of interest in different types of self-build and custom build

The majority of individuals who have registered their interest have selected a preference for DIY Custom Build (21) and Self Finish Custom Build (18).  There was also significant interest in Full Turn Key Custom Build (14). 

There were also 9 individuals who selected a preference for Independent Community Custom Build, 7 individuals who selected Supported Community Custom Build and 7 who stated an interest in Affordable Custom Build.  It should be noted that individuals are able to select multiple preferences.  The ones listed are the most popular. 

Pie chart summarising responses detailed in previous paragraph

Meeting the demand:

Under the Self-build and Custom House Building Regulations 2016, the District Council is required to keep a register of individuals who are seeking to acquire serviced plots of land in their area in order to build homes for those individuals to occupy. The register is helping to inform policy development within the emerging Local Plan and future plot requirements in the District. The policy development for the District is being progressed in our emerging Local Plan – see Policy 8D.

Self-build and custom build homes are subject to the same requirements for planning permission as other homes.  This means that irrespective of whether they are being proposed for self-build, if they are an inappropriate development, they would not be provided with planning permission.  Locations for plots that will be considered will need to sustainable development sites.

Sustainable development is at the heart of the National Planning Policy Framework and new development in the District should support:

i) An economic role, contributing to building a strong, responsive and competitive economy.

ii) A social role, supporting strong, vibrant and healthy communities.

iii) An environmental role, contributing to protecting and enhancing our natural, built and historic environment.

All potential locations for self-build and custom build plots should be seeking to meet these development needs set out in the NPPF and at a minimum, they should be in locations that will add value to the local area, be located near to local facilities including public transport, local amenities and schools.

The most popular locations preferences are for the rural locations Far Forest, Bewdley Town, Arley, Cookley and Rock.  Finding suitable sites for the District’s self-build and custom build community is important and appropriate sites are currently being considered as part of the District’s Local Plan review.

The Self-build and Custom build Register is assisting Council Planners to get a better understanding of the level of interest in different types of types of plots.  To date, the Register has demonstrated that there is significant interest in a range of serviced plots including those that are part of a new build development, the conversion of existing buildings and interest in cohousing.  See Table 2 below.

Table 2

Total Registered

would consider joining a co-housing project

would consider a custom-build plot / home that was part of a new build housing development

would consider the conversion of an existing building as an alternative to building a new property

with history of custom build / general house building

expressing interest in eco homes / environmentally low impact
(in comments box)

33 Individuals

1 Association

20

17

27

13

8 (plus the registered Association)

The Council is currently investigating a range of options to meet the demand set out in the Self-build Register.  Options include opportunities to work with enablers who could assist with a custom build ‘offer’.  There are currently 39 individuals who selected interest in Self Finish Custom Build and DIY Custom Build, which demonstrates a significant interest in working with specialist developers who can assist people to deliver their own home, staying within pre-agreed Design Codes.  

The District Council is not a significant landholder (of land appropriate for serviced plots) and strategic options being considered include the development of a new policy for self-build and custom build, revisions to the Local Plan and partnerships with specialist self-build and custom-build developers. The council recognises that there is still significant interest in the ‘DIY’ Custom Build approach (21) and there will be suitable alternative opportunities for DIY custom builders that may include: serviced plots on new build sites, Plot Passports with clear and concise information and an agreed marketing strategy to ensure that the sale of serviced plots are targeted at those who have actively verified their interest via the District’s Self- build Register.

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