Waveney Local Plan

Self Build and Custom Build

8.23 Self build and custom build housing is currently under represented in the housing market in Waveney and England as a whole. Self build projects are defined as those where someone directly organises the design and construction of their own home. This covers a wide range of projects including a traditional DIY self build home to projects where the self builder employs someone to build their home for them. Community-led projects can also be defined as self build. Custom build homes are where a person works with a developer as an individual or a group to help provide their own home. The developer may help to find a plot, manage the construction and arrange the finance for the new home. This is more of a hands-off approach but the home is tailored to match the individuals requirements.

8.24 Self build and custom build housing can help increase the supply and variety of housing on the market. It can also improve the overall design quality of new housing. As such the Government is keen to promote the sector. The National Planning Policy Framework states that Local Planning Authorities should plan for the needs of people wishing to build their own homes. The Self Build and Custom Housebuilding Act 2015 requires Local Planning Authorities to keep a register of people who are interested in building their own homes. The Housing and Planning Act 2016 places a duty on Authorities to grant permission for sufficient serviced plots to meet demand evidenced by the register.

8.25 There are currently 102 people on the register in Waveney. Policy WLP8.3 below sets out the Council's approach to encouraging self build and custom build developments. In order to meet the need identified above, 5% of plots on all sites above 100 units should be made available for self build or custom build housing. Based on the sites allocated in this Local Plan, this will deliver approximately 260 serviced plots over the lifetime of the plan. This will meet the need of the existing people on the register plus potential future additions to the register. Where serviced self build or custom build plots are made available on a site and are not taken up within 12 months of the completion of the rest of the development, the developer will be free to build out these plots themselves. The Policy also supports solely self build and custom build developments where they are in conformity with other policies of this plan.

8.26 Self and custom builders should be able to design and build their homes to their own requirements. This will create individual homes and can foster creative and innovative designs, where this is desired. Where groups of self or custom build plots come forward it is important that the individual designs contribute positively to their surroundings and there is a degree of coherence in the design and appearance of the group. As such, where groups of plots are concerned, a design code should be agreed which establishes some design principles to which each plot should adhere, whilst still allowing for freedom and creativity for individual plots. This will also provide greater certainty for self and custom builders that their individual designs will be granted permission. Design codes can address matters such as building heights; massing; position on plot; plot coverage; materials pallet; landscaping; parking; and waste management amongst others. Proposals of five plots and above should have a design code in place agreed with the Local Planning Authority. 

Policy WLP8.3 - Self Build and Custom Build

Proposals that would make a proportion of serviced dwelling plots available for sale to self-builders or custom builders will be supported where in compliance with other policies of this Local Plan.

Developments of 100 or more dwellings will be expected to provide a minimum of 5% self or custom build properties on site through the provision of serviced plots.

Proposals for 5 or more self-build or custom build dwellings in a single site location should be developed in accordance with a set of design principles to be submitted with any application and agreed by the Local Planning Authority.