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Planning Advisory Service (PAS)
Open group | Started - July 2012 | Last activity - This week

Self Build

Helen Clement, modified 1 Month ago.

Self Build

New Member Posts: 15 Join Date: 20/10/11 Recent Posts

Hello

We have an adopted Local Plan policy and SPD on Self Build. But we are experiencing some push back from developers who do not agree with it. They consider that the Register cannot be relied on to demonstrate demand, and there is no confirmation that those on the Register have the finance to undertake self build, along with the time and costs incurred for providing self build plots when they consider the demand has not be robustly demonstrated etc.

For those who have a Self Build policy, or who have approved self build plots, could I ask the following questions please

1. Have you experienced objections from developers in respect of reliance on the register and the data held on it?

2. Do you carry out annual surveys to establish whether those on the register are still interested?

3. Are you aware of mechanisms with regards to financial gurantees sought for purchasers of self build plots?

4. Have you held any developer forums on this topic and what kind of questions came up?

 

Many thanks

Robert Feakes, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Self Build

New Member Posts: 2 Join Date: 30/01/20 Recent Posts

Hi Helen,

Interesting question. Does your planning policy require a % of plots to be self-build? And you have developers objecting to making provision?

If yes, I think that we are in a differen't position in that we do not require self-build. Instead, with a healthy land supply and a recently adopted Plan we have developers trying to use self-build as a way of getting permissions outside settlement boundaries. So, generally speaking, we have developers arguing that our register doesn't capture enough of the true demand. If I have understood correctly, that is the opposite of your problem...?

So whilst my answers may not help you I am going to reply in the hope of seeing everyone else's answers to your interesting questions!

1. Yes, but not in the way you seem to describe - see above.

2. We intend to introduce an annual survey of whether people are still interested but I think this doesn't sit easily with the way in which the statutory duty is set out...i.e. if tested in the courts it may be that once you join the Register the LPA is committed to granting a permission, regardless of whether you remain committed to developing a dwelling. Very interested in others' views on this.

3. No, sorry. Unless you mean the financial solvency test for joining the register?

4. No.

Best wishes,

Robert

Bea Nichol, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Self Build

New Member Post: 1 Join Date: 26/09/23 Recent Posts

Hi Helen,

In my previous role as an Affordable Housing Enabler at Perth & Kinross Council, we were starting to look at SB as an alternative to affordable housing onsite provision to allow this choice for people on lower incomes. This approach is also likely to be used in the future for South Lanarkshire. As a result, we gather data about location choices, whether people were "shovel ready" in terms of money and what their timescales are for delivery, were a plot to become available. We looked at it as a way of enabling smaller sites, where onsite afforable homes were not likely to stack up financially, to be delivered by asking for serviced affrdoable self build plots. 

1. Have you experienced objections from developers in respect of reliance on the register and the data held on it? Smaller builders were initially suspicious but started to see this as a way to open up a site with support from the council.

2. Do you carry out annual surveys to establish whether those on the register are still interested? This is something that will need to be implemented but we haven't undertaken it yet. 

3. Are you aware of mechanisms with regards to financial gurantees sought for purchasers of self build plots? As our approach is primarily for self build to a posisble choice for people on lower incomes, we would likely allocate plots to people who have evidenced their income and can achieve a self build mortgage, should the plot be provided for them using a rural housing burden (ie that the home has to be sold at an affordable rate assessed by current market averages).

4. Have you held any developer forums on this topic and what kind of questions came up? We have provided some guidance and are aiming to undertake more awareness sessions with both Development Management, Housing and external partners to ensure the apporach is understood and implemented to support affordable housing provision. 

 

Emma Younger, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Self Build

New Member Post: 1 Join Date: 09/12/20 Recent Posts

Hi Helen,

At Fareham Borough Council we adopted out Local Plan last year which includes a CSB% policy for larger sites. At examination developers did seek to challenge the register as a source for demand but we argued that the register under-represents demand - there is data from NaCSBA that supports that registers are under-measuring demand by approx 64%. see link: Right to Build registers underestimate self build demand by two thirds (nacsba.org.uk).

As part of our evidence gathering, we send a survey to our register every 2 years to confirm they are still seeking to undertake CSB and to gather info on type, size, location of property they are interested in. Whilst we don't gather specific financial data, we do ask questions around their financial planning/how they intend to fund, the anonymous results of the survey are summarised and publised on our website. All this was accepted as appropriate evidence at examination, and although it is early days, since adoption, so far no developers have pushed back on evidence of need (which we aren't meeting yet). On one of our sites the developer is looking at delivering the CSB as affordable custom-build, which could help to address the issues you are experiencing with developers arguing about the financial position of people on the register? I have been having discussions with the developers on an individual basis to discuss the broad range of CSB to see what will fit with their development, which has definitely helped. 

Now for a shameless plug! As well as being a Policy Planner at FBC, I work with the Right to Build Task Force so wanted to mention that there's lots of information available on the Right to Build Task Force website: Right to Build Task Force : Home which is useful in supporting your approach (it is free to sign up - there are also regular mastercalsses which can help  - also free to LPAs!).