Policy HOU 3: Self and custom build dwellings
- The council will support proposals for self-build and custom-build housing in suitable locations.
- On all housing developments providing 30 or more homes, a proportion of serviced plots should be provided, where there is evidence of unmet demand.
- Where an applicant considers that the provision of self-build and/or custom-build is unviable, this should be demonstrated through submission of a viability assessment. Any costs associated with the council independently evaluating the viability assessment will be borne by the applicant.
- Plots delivered through Criterion 2 should be marketed as self/custom build opportunities for a minimum of 1 year. If unsold, these plots can revert to open market housing.
8.15 The government wishes to increase opportunities for people to build or commission their own homes, and in doing so increase the role that these play in boosting the overall supply of new homes. This policy responds to that challenge and seeks to increase the amount of self-build and custom-build housing in the borough.
8.16 The council has a legal duty to give suitable development permission to enough suitable serviced plots of land to meet the demand for self-build and custom housebuilding. 'Self-build' is housing usually built in full by its final owners/occupiers from scratch. 'Custom-build' is housing usually part built by a provider and then customised by its owners/occupiers. In both instances, owners/occupiers are expected to have significant influence over the final design of their home. Owners/occupiers can be individuals or associations of individuals. A 'serviced plot of land' is land that can be connected to basic infrastructure. Each term is defined in the Housing and Planning Act, Self-build and Custom Housebuilding Act and associated regulations.
8.17 The NPPF states that planning policies should consider the size, type and tenure of housing needed for different groups, including people wishing to commission or build their own homes. LPS Policy SC 4 'Residential mix' states that new residential development should maintain, provide or contribute to a mix of housing tenures, types and sizes. This could include people wishing to build or commission their own homes.
8.18 To increase diversification in the housing market, for custom-build housing schemes, the council will encourage developers to offer the widest range of customisation options possible. As minimum however, owners/occupiers of custom-build housing should be able to influence the design/appearance of the external envelope of their home and choose their own room dimensions and layout.
8.19 On larger sites (30 or more dwellings), where there is evidence of unmet demand, opportunities for self-build and/or custom-build housing should be provided as part of the housing mix in line with Policy HOU 1 'Housing mix'. Such developments are required to provide a housing mix statement at detailed planning/reserved matters stage. As part of this statement, regard should be had to any shortfall in terms of the number of serviced plots the council has permitted versus the current demand from the council’s self-build register. Information regarding unmet demand and the extent to which the council is meeting its legal duties associated with self and custom-build will be published annually in its Authority Monitoring Report.
8.20 Provision of self and custom-build housing opportunities will be controlled through conditions and/or Section 106 legal agreements as necessary.
8.21 The requirement for self or custom build housing is separate to any affordable housing requirements set out in LPS Policy SC 5 'Affordable homes', although the council will be open to considering the provision of affordable housing through a self or custom-build route.
8.22 Schemes for self-build and custom-build homes must still comply with policies and guidance in the development plan governing location and design of new homes. The fact that a proposed new home may be self or custom-build will not override these policies.
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