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Government opens door for more self-builds

Plans revealed by the Government yesterday (3 May) will make it easier for people to build their dream home

Housing minister Grant Shapps said he wanted to help so-called self-builders by making more plots of land available.

These would be allocated on a build now, pay later basis to allow individuals and communities to build their own properties, he said.

Revealing the plans at the Grand Designs Live 2011 show in London, Shapps said he hoped the plans would make self-building a mainstream housing option, not something that was just available to the ‘privileged few’.

Self-builders already account for one in five new homes built in this country each year, but the barriers and red tape that people face mean that the UK still has one of the lowest proportion of self-build properties in Europe.

Shapps said the Government planned to ‘put its money where its mouth is’ and make publicly owned land available to self-builders.

Under the scheme, which is also available to developers, people would not have to pay for the land until they had completed the property.

He also called for private investors, local authorities and housing associations to make plots available.

He added that he also wanted to remove the barriers and strip away the red tape that have previously thwarted people who wanted to build their own home.

Earlier this year the Government launched a working group, led by the National Self-Build Association, to advise it on what action needed to be taken to help more people build their own homes.

Shapps said: ‘Self-builders deliver affordable, greener and more innovatively designed homes, and make a big contribution to the number of new homes built in this country, yet there is scope to significantly increase the number of self-built homes in the UK - both for individual households and for community-driven projects.

‘I want to turn around the fortunes of self-builders by cutting the red tape and bureaucracy they often face and make self-build a reality for many more people.

‘These efforts will help bring self-build into the mainstream, and not simply be the preserve of the privileged few - meaning not just Grand Designs, but common designs.’

Readers' comments (1)

  • This government, if it is serious, would do much better all round to exempt refurbishment from VAT.

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