Want to build your own home? You're in luck!

Posted: 11/07/2012

The Housing Minister Grant Shapps has announced that self builders will be offered access to a £30 million fund and specially selected local authority land to help them build their own home. Mr Shapps wants to double the size of the self build sector by appointing Kevin McCloud, the Grand Designs presenter to be the industries champion. However, even Mr McCloud has experienced problems when building new homes. You can read Pali’s previous blog on this story HERE.

There are seven sites that have been allocated by the Government for groups of people who want to work together to build their own homes. The first site that has been made available is in Pool, Cornwall named Trevenson Park which can accommodate up to 60 houses. This will be the nations first ever large scale, self build plot and extra public sector sites are being located for self builders at; Hanford, Kingsweir and Torpoint in Bristol, Stoke-on-Trent and Chase Avenue, Pleasley Colliery, Bolsover; Upper Tuesley Milford, Surrey, Wilson Road, Walton Park, Milton Keynes, Spencers Park, Hemel Hempstead.

It is predicted that the number of mortgages for self builders will increase by 141% over the next few years and Shapps has written to all the major lenders asking them to consider how they can help the growing self build sector. The £30 million funding will be used to pay for 75% of the projects land and early construction costs. The money will be made available to organisations planning to construct five or more homes at a total cost of £3 million or less.

The chairman of the National Self Build Association, Ted Stevens, praised Shapps scheme including the idea to use public sector land, ‘The announcement that more public land is to be set aside for self builders is fantastic news – finding a plot is the biggest challenge for most self builders.’

The Housing Minister praised the work of Cherwell District Council who have worked with local people to identify sites that can be made available for the construction of self build homes. Shapps’s new proposal was inspired by a recent trip to Almere in the Netherlands. Almere is Europe’s first low cost self build project where the council have helped local people who aspire to build their own home.

Would you consider building your own home at one of the Government’s selected sites and do you believe the scheme will be a success or do you have concerns about Shapps proposal?

Amanda McGovern, Pali Ltd

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