Right to Build legislation being “subverted” by local councils, report finds

An independent report on custom and self-build housing conducted by MP Richard Bacon has found that some local councils have been “subverting” legislation that is designed to encourage self-built homes.

The custom and self build housing report was initiated to examine the shortcomings of Right to Build legislation, including its failure to achieve its aim of doubling the size of the self-build sector by last year.

The report, which was commissioned by the Prime Minister, indicated that local authorities were opting to look for large-scale solutions by using major developers rather than encourage self-built homes and developments which could play a major role in solving our housing crisis.

Some examples of subverting legislation included councils charging extra fees, requiring mortgage offers to join land search registers, and incorrectly counting all homes as self or custom built.

Mr Bacon commented:

“Whilst the legislation has increased awareness and has been enthusiastically embraced by many local authorities aware of the benefits that such homes bring there has been too much inactivity and in some cases direct and shameful action to subvert the legislation”.

Mr Bacon also commented that local authorities should provide serviced plots for sale so that people can easily construct their own homes, similar to the self-build frameworks currently in place across Europe.

The report made several recommendations including a greater role for Homes England and easier access to the public land procurement system for custom and self-build facilitators.

The report also recommended that the Government should facilitate local authorities by creating pilot programmes to provide plots as part of land allocations, which should be built into new local government plans.

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