Self-build and custom build register

As the Local Planning Authority for the Broads Executive Area, we are required to keep a register of those people wishing to acquire land to build a home.

About self-build and custom build

The term 'self-build' is used when someone obtains a building plot and then builds their own home on it. Self-builders create their homes through a variety of methods. Most will need to commission an architect to design the house, some will then employ a builder to construct it, whereas others may choose to build all or part of the house themselves. The majority of self-builders manage the building site and deal directly with planners, tradespeople and materials suppliers. Self-build is an ideal way to create something tailored to your family's unique requirements.

Please note that the Authority has an exemption in place in relation to self-build – please see below.

Types of build

There are various types of custom build projects, including the following:

Individual custom build

An individual purchases a plot of land and builds a house to live in. They may do some or all of the build themselves, or employ an architect, a builder, and in some cases, a project manager to oversee the build.

Group custom build

A group of people come together to design and develop a custom build housing development which they then live in. They may build this themselves or with help from a developer to manage the project.

Developer-led custom build

A developer divides a larger site into individual plots and provides a design and build service to purchasers. This gives people a chance to tailor existing house designs to suit their own preference and needs.

The register

You can express your interest in self-build or custom build in the Broads Authority Executive Area by completing our Custom Build Register.

Exemption from the duty to permit

There is a duty on the Broads Authority, like other Local Planning Authorities, to permit enough serviced plots of land to meet the demand for self-build and custom housebuilding for each base period.

So far, there have been two base periods:

  • Base period 1: April 2016 to 30 October 2016
  • Base period 2: 31 October 2017 to 30 October 2017.

The Government has agreed that the Broads Authority is exempt from the duty to permit enough serviced plots of land to meet the demand for self-build and custom housebuilding for base period two which is 31 October 2016 to 30 October 2017.

The reason for this is the demand for self-build and custom housebuilding is greater than 20% of the land identified by the Broads Authority as being available for future housing.  You should note that for base period two (31 October 2016 to 30 October 2017) there were 60 people on the register and the anticipated land availability is around 157 dwellings. So the demand for plots as measured on the register is 38.33% of the land available therefore exceeding the 20% threshold.  

What this means is that the Authority is still required to maintain a register of interest in self/custom build and needs to have regard to the register when undertaking planning, housing, disposal of land and regeneration functions. In base period one, there were 49 people on the register and the Authority will continue to try and meet that demand – the Authority is not exempt from base period 1.

Each year, the Authority will assess the number of people on the register against the land available and if this is greater than 20%, the exemption is maintained. If it falls below 20% then the exemption is not in place for that period.

Development boundaries

The purpose of a development boundary is to consolidate development around existing built-up communities where there is a clearly defined settlement where further development, if properly designed and constructed, would not be incongruous or intrusive because of the size of the settlement. Development boundaries have twin objectives of focusing the majority of development towards existing settlements whilst simultaneously protecting the surrounding countryside.

The Broads Authority has four areas with development boundaries. These are Horning, Wroxham and Hoveton, Oulton Broad and Thorpe St Andrew. You can find more information in this document - page 109, Policy XNS9.

Development in these areas could be acceptable, notwithstanding other policies, constraints and other material considerations. It is important to note that just because an area has a development boundary, this does not mean that all proposals for development in the area are necessarily acceptable. A lot depends on the detail and location of the proposal. Some development proposals could be acceptable outside of Development Boundaries although this will depend on detail, constraints in the area and accordance with other adopted policies (such as DP21, 22, 23, 24 and 25 and the NPPF)

Please note that registration does not guarantee that a suitable plot will be identified, or become available.

Our districts

Whilst the Broads Authority will a register for interested parties in the Broads Executive Area, our district councils hold a register for the rest of their area. On occasion, the boundary between the Broads and district areas run through villages or towns. You may therefore wish to explore the opportunity of going on both our register as well as the relevant district, city or borough.

Use of information

The Broads Authority will use the information from the Custom and Self Build Register to gain a greater understanding of the demand for custom and self-build projects in the area. We will not pass identifiable information onto anyone outside the Authority without your written consent.

Some useful links

The Self Build Portal

This website is produced by the National Custom and Self Build Association (NaCSBA) and is endorsed by the Government.

Custom Build Serviced Plots Loan Fund: continuous market engagement

The fund is intended to help address the primary difficulty faced by many custom builders – securing a suitable plot for their project.

How to build your own home

A step-by-step guide covering everything required to build your own house, from finding the land, budgeting and financing correctly, what planning permission is required, to actually constructing the building itself.

The National Custom and Self Build Association (NaCSBA)

NaCSBA was set up by network of companies and individuals with the common aim of promoting self-build and custom build as a form of housing delivery that can make a significant contribution to home building in the UK.

Self-Build and Custom House Building Act 20015

An Act to place a duty on certain public authorities to keep a register of individuals and associations of individuals who wish to acquire serviced plots of land to bring forward self-build and custom housebuilding projects and to place a duty on certain public authorities to have regard to those registers in carrying out planning and other functions.

Build Store

Provides information on self-build, renovation and conversion products and services.

Self-Build Directory

This directory is a self-build and renovation resource centre providing advice, information and signposting to numerous sources of information, products and services.