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White Paper

Housing White Paper

The Government today launched its Housing White Paper which states it will...

"Make it easier for people who want to build their own homes,"

Custom build is now an important part of the Government’s strategy to solve the housing crisis, together with help for small and medium sized (SME) builders, innovative, offsite methods of construction and a simpler planning system.

Key Points:

  • Legislation to ensure local authorities meet their new Right to Build requirements to assess demand for custom and self build in their area and grant permission for enough plots to meet local demand.
  • Ensuring that the exemption from the Community Infrastructure Levy for self build remains in place for now, while the Government looks at longer-term reforms;
  • Working with lenders to ensure that they have plans in place to support customer demand for custom build finance products;
  • Proposals to give more support for SME house builders, including greater use of Local Development Orders and area-wide design codes, so that small sites can be brought forward for development more quickly;
  • Supporting custom build through the Government’s Accelerated Construction programme, set up to diversify the housing market by working with SME builders.

Improvements to the planning rules, outlined in the White Paper, should also make the process easier for custom and self builders. These include:

  • A more open and accessible planning system, giving local authorities the ability to take action against builders who do not start building once permission has been granted;
  • Proposals to expand Permitted Development Rights that apply to agricultural buildings (such as barns) and possible new permitted development rights in areas of high housing need;
  • Brownfield sites will be assumed to be suitable for housing, unless there is a clear reason not to, such as a high flood risk;
  • New proposals that will expect local authorities to support the development of small windfall sites.

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