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18,000 UK Residents Join Right to Build Registers

The National Custom and Self Build Association (NaCSBA) has announced that around 18,000 people have added their details to local authority self-build and custom registers to exercise their Right to Build.

Since the beginning of April 2016, all local authorities in England have been required to create an accessible demand register for self and custom build projects, allowing people and groups to state their interest in acquiring a plot to build their own home.

Legislation that came into effect on October 31 requires local authorities to provide enough serviced plots to meet the demand required by their registers.

NaCSBA chair Michael Holmes said that approximately 18,000 people, made up of a mixture of individuals and groups, have joined the self-build and custom registers, but it appears to be only the tip of the iceberg. Some councils have not set up their registers while others have only operated theirs for a few months. The potential is huge and if local authorities do deliver serviced plots in a timely manner, the Right to Build could be instrumental in meeting the government goal of building 20,000 self-build and custom-build homes by 2020.

Mr Holmes said that local authorities have up to three years to grant a sufficient number of permissions for serviced plots to meet local demand. With increasing numbers of people registering, it is imperative that they start consenting these plots now to keep up with demand.

Richard Bacon, MP, said he was pleased by the numbers so far. He cited Cherwell Council, where over 2,000 people have joined its register.

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Mr Bacon, who chairs the All Party Parliamentary Group for Self Build, Custom and Community Housebuilding and Placemaking, said that too many councils have low registrant numbers while others have yet to market their registers or even set them up. Once all the registers are running and properly marketed, the result could be tremendous.

The National Custom and Self Build Association was established in 2008 when a group of individuals and companies came together to advocate self-build and custom-build in the UK. Its goal is to make high quality, custom-designed, sustainable homes an affordable option for everyone instead of an enterprising few.

NaCSBA requested freedom of information data details from the 336 councils in England and discovered that nearly 14,300 people had joined the registers between April 1st and October 31st of last year. Twelve councils set themselves up as vanguards in 2014 and signed up 3,700 people and groups to their registers.

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