Government Support for Self-Build Surge

Government support for self-build surge

Self-build in Cornwall on the increase

Self-build projects to receive a boost, as the Liberal Democrat Communities Minister, Don Foster, announces a series of measures to open up the self-build market.

Mr Foster announced that community self-build and community-led affordable housing projects will be able to apply for a share of £65 million from the Affordable Homes Guarantees Programme.

Currently in the UK only 10% of UK homes are self-built, compared to 80% in Austria and 60% in Germany. The pioneering Vauban project in Freiburg, Germany brought together communities and Architects to design and build their own spaces and affordable homes. Smaller scale projects across the UK have been developing in recent years, but this fund availability and other supportive measures may well give the self-build industry the lift it richly deserves.

Other options for potential self-builders announced, include:

  • Exemption for self and custom build projects under the Community Infrastructure Levy and section 106 tariffs.
  • New planning practice guidance to ensure councils establish the demand for self-build in their area and can then give priority to self-builders when new brownfield sites become available.
  • New Council Tax discounts to be introduced for self-build family annexes, removing an unfair council tax penalty surcharge.
  • The Community Right to Reclaim Land will be enhanced so self-builders can request redundant public sector land is released and sold for self-build projects.
  • One of the other key areas of difficulty for self-builders is in obtaining a mortgage prior to construction for the property. The Government revealed that there are now 26 lenders offering self-build loans which may enable even more people to consider a self-build project.

As Architects, we are excited by the potential for self-build in Cornwall and Devon and are already working with a range of clients who are opting to build their own properties.

If you have any questions about these announcements and how they might impact on your ambitions to self-build, please contact us for professional support and advice from our Architects.


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