Self-Build Housing

Frequently Asked Questions for this Service

Question: What is the purpose of self-build and custom housebuilding registers?

Answer: Self-build and custom housebuilding registers provide valuable information on demand for self-build and custom housebuilding in the local area and should form a key part of the council’s evidence base of demand for this type of housing.

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Question: What information must the council include on its register?

Answer: The information that the council must include on its register differs for entries for individuals and associations of individuals. For individual entries on the register, the council must record the name and address of the individual on the register. For entries on the register for associations of individuals, the council must record the following information on the register:

• the name and address of the association;
• the name and address (if different from that of the association) of the lead contact; and
• the number of serviced plots of land in the relevant authority’s area the members of the association are seeking to acquire.

In all cases the date on which an entry was made, and any dates on which it has been amended, must be recorded on the register.

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Question: Can the council request applicants to provide additional information to that required by the legislation?

Answer: As part of the registration process the council can request applicants to provide additional information to that required by the legislation. This can support a greater understanding of the nature of demand for self-build and custom housebuilding in their area. Where the council chooses to request additional information from applicants, those who meet the eligibility criteria but do not provide the additional information requested must still be entered on the register.

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Question: Who is eligible to be entered on the register?

Answer: Applicants must meet all of the eligibility criteria for entry on the register. Each individual applicant and every member of an association of individuals that applies for entry on the register must be:

• aged 18 or older;
• a British citizen, a national of an EEA State other than the United Kingdom, or a national of Switzerland; and
• seeking (either alone or with others) to acquire a serviced plot of land in the relevant authority’s area to build a house to occupy as that individual’s sole or main residence.

When applying to be entered on a register, individuals who wish to register as an association must appoint a member or officer to act as the lead contact for the purposes of correspondence between the association and the council. In determining whether an applicant is eligible for entry on the register, the council is entitled, but not required, to rely on information provided by the applicant as part of the application process.

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Question: Can the council restrict entry on the register to local people?

Answer: No, the council cannot currently adopt additional eligibility criteria.

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Question: Is the council required to make data on their registers publically available?

Answer: The council is not required to publish its register but is required to publicise it. However, it is encouraged to publish, in their Authority Monitoring Report, headline data on the demand for self-build and custom housebuilding revealed by the register and other sources. This can support development opportunities for self-build and custom housebuilding by increasing awareness among landowners, builders and developers of the level and nature of demand for self-build and custom housebuilding in the local area.

The council should consider what additional optional information (for example, general location within the authority’s area, plot size preferences and type of housing intended to be built) could be requested of applicants and made available to increase opportunities for self-build and custom housebuilding in their area, having regard to data protection obligations.

The types of information relevant authorities are encouraged to publish include:

• the number of individuals and associations on their register;
• the number of serviced plots of land sought; and
• the preferences people on their register have indicated, such as general location within the authority’s area, plot sizes and type of housing intended to be built, where this information has been requested by the authority and provided by an applicant.

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Question: What does having ‘a duty as regards registers’ mean?

Answer: The Self-build and Custom Housebuilding Act 2015 places a duty on certain public bodies (such as the council) to have regard to each self-build and custom housebuilding register that relates to their area when carrying out their planning, housing, land disposal and regeneration functions.

Government guidance suggests ways in which the duty may be demonstrated in carrying out each function:

(i) Planning

The planning functions of an authority may include both plan making and decision-taking functions. The registers that relate to their area may be a material consideration in decision-taking. Authorities with plan-making functions should use their evidence on demand for this form of housing from the registers that relate to their area in developing their Local Plan and associated documents.

(ii) Housing

Local housing authorities who are under the duty to have regard to registers that relate to their areas should consider the evidence of demand for self-build and custom housebuilding from the registers when carrying out their housing functions. This includes when preparing their local housing strategies and in developing plans for new housing on land owned by the local housing authority.

(iii) Land disposal

Authorities who are under the duty to have regard to registers that relate to their areas should consider the evidence of demand for self-build and custom housebuilding in their area from the register when developing plans to dispose of land within their ownership.

(iv) Regeneration

When developing plans to regenerate their area, local authorities who are under the duty to have regard to registers that relate to their areas should consider the demand for self-build and custom housebuilding.


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