Self-build and custom housebuilding
Self-build and custom housebuilding

The following Planning practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Self-build and custom housebuilding
  • What is self-build and custom housebuilding?
  • Self-build and custom housebuilding registers
  • Authorities required to keep a register
  • Eligibility criteria
  • Who can register
  • Serviced plot of land
  • Power to set eligibility conditions
  • Format and content of registers
  • Layout
  • More...

Self-build and custom housebuilding (SCH) is an important element of the government's planning strategy for housing. The purpose of the Self-build and Custom Housebuilding Act 2015 (SCHA 2015) is to allow individuals wishing to build their own home to register their interest in acquiring land with the relevant authority, who is obliged to:

  1. keep and maintain an SCH register

  2. have regard to the demand for SCH as evidenced by the registers when exercising certain functions including those relating to planning and housing

What is self-build and custom housebuilding?

SCHA 2015, s 1 defines self-build and custom housebuilding as where an individual, an association of individuals, or persons working with or for individuals or associations of individuals, build or complete houses to be occupied as homes by those individuals.

Planning Practice Guidance (PPG) elaborates on this definition by advising that in considering whether a home is a self-build or custom build home, the authority must be satisfied that the initial owner of the home will have primary input into its final design and layout.

To support and encourage individuals wishing to build their own homes, the government introduced an exemption from the community infrastructure levy in respect of SCH in 2014. For further information, see Practice Note: Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL)—exemptions for minor development, residential annexes and extensions and self-build housing.

The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) further strengthens the status of

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