Government plans to kickstart self-build market

Adam Williams
Written By:
Adam Williams

The government has unveiled a series of self-build projects as part of its plans to kickstart the market in 2013.

The announcement was made by housing minister Mark Prisk and Grand Designs presenter Kevin McCloud to launch Self Build Week at the Excel conference centre in London.

Despite heavy promotion, just 12,000 people were able to complete a self-build project in 2012, well below European averages.

In an attempt to boost the market, the government has launched a new scheme to help potential home builders identify suitable plots and has given the green light to a number of developments across England.

Prisk said: “One of the main barriers self-builders have faced in the past has been to find a suitable plot on which to build their dream home.

“We’ve been determined to tackle this, ensuring through our planning reforms that councils must consider the needs of those looking to self-build when drawing up their local plans for development.”

The largest development is in Oxfordshire where a 500 acre site could create opportunities for 1,000 self-build homes. Plans are also in place for at least 100 custom built homes on the London Olympic site and 80 in a former mine in Cornwall.

Environmentally friendly developments are planned for Plymouth and Devon, the latter will assist 150 families across the county to build three bedroom eco-homes for £100,000 each.

Plans are in place for more traditional houses in Cambridge, Middlesbrough, Newcastle and Shrewsbury.

Ted Stevens, chair of the National Self Build Association (NaSBA), added: “These projects will transform the UK self-build sector and provide a real showcase for the many innovative ways more self or custom built homes can be delivered.

“The pioneering councils and developers that are involved are to be applauded for their vision and enterprise.”

Earlier this year Hanley Economic Building Society chief executive David Webster said that intermediaries would be key to improving the fortunes of the self-build market.