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Government rolls out new support for self-build homes

New measures aimed at supporting self-builders include grant funding, planning guidance, and scrapping the CIL tax for those building their own homes have been unveiled

Communities minister Don Foster has announced a series of measures aimed at opening up self-build to lower income households.

The measures include allowing community self-build projects to apply for grants from the £65 million Affordable Homes Guarantee Programme.

New planning practice guidance will also be introduced which will ensure that local councils understand the demand for self-build within the local area. This will also include compiling a register of those interested in building their homes who will be given priority when brownfield land becomes available.

A review of the Homes and Communities Agency’s (HCA) plots will identify those not suitable for large-scale housing and these will be released for self-build projects.

The government has also confirmed self-build projects will be exempt from the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL), a contentious construction tax which allows councils to raise funds from developers building in their area, a scheme originally mooted in a consultation back in April.

Foster said the measures would ‘end the misconception that self-build is the pastime of the privileged elite’.

Last year 11,000 homes were self-built. The government predicts that these measures will allow the industry to double in size over the next decade.

Foster commented: ‘For many people the concept of building your own home means one thing: a fantasy mansion built by people with deep pockets and endless spare time. We are determined to end this misconception so anyone with aspirations to build their own home has the opportunity to do so, including people on low incomes.

‘That is why we will give community-led groups the chance to apply for a share of £65 million to build the affordable homes they want in their area, and introduce other measures to boost access to land and end unfair taxes.

‘These measures will open the door for hundreds of potential building projects across the country, and consolidate the progress we’ve already made to establish self-build as a mainstream option’.

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