While building your own is an exciting prospect, navigating the complexities of the British planning process can be a real turn-off for many prospective self-builders.
But planning doesn't necessarily have to be taxing and in this guide, we'll take you through the type of permissions your self-build project is likely to need.
Perhaps it’s government moves to encourage self-build, the turbulent housing market or simply the influx of TV programmes like Grand Designs that have stimulated the UK public's desire to construct their own homes.
In any case, the appetite is clear – with around 12,000 new homes (or between 7-10 per cent of the UK's new housing stock) thought to be constructed in this way every year.
And support for self-build projects has been one of the government's key housing initiatives, making loans available to community groups and releasing public land to accommodate new houses.
An introduction to self-build planning
Unless you're fortunate enough to be an architect or qualified designer yourself, after you've found a suitable plot of land (although you don't necessarily need to have bought it to gain planning permissions), you'll need to hire in some professionals.
Some self-builders opt to use a project manager as a way to run the entire project at arm's length, while others opt to pick architects, designs and surveyors themselves.
Whatever route you go down, it's in your best interest to kick off the planning process as soon as you can. Consulting with the local authority's planning department – either yourself or by proxy – is a great way to determine what you will, and won't, be able to do.
Your local planning department is likely to have some preliminary guidance on their website, if not a full copy of the 'local plan' that informs planning constraints in the area.
However, councils also offer more formal pre-application advice for a fee, although the cost – and quality – of this can differ greatly from authority to authority. This should hopefully give you a better idea of the key issues that may arise and take steps to sidestep or tackle these as necessary.
This guidance can be used to inform your design and when you're happy with the plans, you can formally submit them for planning approval. This will typically cost under £200, but once again, can differ depending on where your new home is to be situated.