New review on self-build released

Richard Bacon, MP, has just released a report entitled ‘Independent review into scaling up self-build and custom housebuilding: report

It can be seen here, and reports that there is a huge potential in the Self Build sector which could deliver 30-40,000 more homes every year, and recommends a major-scaling up of self-built homes to boost the overall housing supply. This will see homes that can be built in weeks that are better designed, built to the highest environmental standards and with cheaper household bills.

Housing Secretary Rt Hon Robert Jenrick MP said: “As we build back better we want to help more people build their own home, making it an option for thousands who’ve not considered it or ruled it out before. This will help get more people on to the housing ladder, ensure homes suit people’s needs whilst providing an important boost to small builders and businesses too.

“I warmly welcome Richard Bacon’s report which matches our ambitions for the custom and self-build sector. We will consider it fully and respond to the recommendations in due course.

“The launch of the Help to Build equity loan scheme will be a game-changer to the self and custom build market and will allow individuals to borrow with lower deposit mortgages which will go towards the design and build of their new home.”

The Bacon Review puts forward 6 recommendations:

  • A greater role for Homes England, with the creation of a new Custom and Self Build Housing Delivery Unit supporting the creation of serviced plots on small and large sites and delivery at scale.
  • Raise awareness and show by ‘doing’, including with a custom and self build ‘Show Park’ and a more robust approach to legislation.
  • Support community, diversity and levelling up – and crucially by reigniting the Community Housing Fund and creating more opportunities for communities to build.
  • Promote greener homes and increased use of Modern Methods of Manufacturing (MMC) – custom and self build is a leading innovator in these areas, and could be used to signpost the future for government’s MMC and Net Zero Housing ambitions.
  • Align custom and self build changes with planning reforms – in particular through maximising opportunities for permissioned land for custom and self build, across all tenures.
  • Iron out tax issues to create a level playing field between this type of homes and speculatively built homes.

Richard Bacon MP said: We need to build more and better new homes. Custom and self-build can help achieve this, by putting customers and their choices back at the heart of the process. When customers come first, we will see more homes built – that are better designed, better built, greener and which cost less to run – and which are warmly welcomed by their communities. This review sets out a route map for how we can achieve this much needed change.

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government will publish more detail on Help to Build shortly followed by its official response to the Bacon Review in the Autumn, including reviewing options on how best to support Custom and Self-build (CSB) housebuilding.

It is interesting that Bacon was selected for this report, as he is co-author, along with Christopher Hope, Senior Political Correspondent of The Daily Telegraph, of Conundrum: Why every government gets things wrong and what we can do about it (2013), an analysis of the failure of high-profile UK public sector projects, including the National Health Service IT programme and the Child Support Agency, Passport Agency, Tax Credit scheme, Rural Payments Agency and Student Loans Company. They argue that a key reason for the repeated failure of such projects is that civil servants – charged with turning the grand vision of ministers into reality – “have been recruited on the basis of their cognitive abilities in terms of playing with ideas, not for their ability to make things happen”.



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  1. Nancy Rowland

    Self builds are a good idea but there should be a time limit on completing them?
    I would hate to live next to a self build that continues for years and years.

  2. Admin login

    I’m assuming that the normal planning rules apply, 3 years to start the work.

    Note, however that the traditional shovel in the ground constitutes commencing, so it can go on for ever after that.

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