Planning

Call for village to consider self-build housing

Eco House
Self build eco house

The lack of land for self-build homes in Debenham is an important issue that has been raised in the debate on the village Facebook page following the news that Taylor Wimpey still wants to build, on a reduced scale, on land north of Gracechurch Street.

Izaak Frost started this conversation, commenting:

Open up land to private development. Plots of land that an individual or family can buy to build on. Building en masse is by far the ugliest method of house building and it only serves to make profit.

Jane Baldwin, chair of the Parish Council, joined the discussion in a private capacity, responding to someone who doubted the planning authority would be interested, writing:

Don’t know until the case is put forward – time for change perhaps, especially if it is something people in the village can get behind surely? 

The best way to find out if there is support would be to put it on the agenda for the next council meeting. That would give anyone with a view to attend the meeting a speak during the pubic session and gain PC support for a local group.

Self building is not all about people who can dig foundations and tile a roof. Most self-builders use contractors for all or most of the work. The official definition is that the “initial owner of the home will have primary input into its final design and layout”.

Between 7% and 10% of new homes in the UK each year are self-builds. The Government is encouraging this and councils with planning responsibilities must keep a register of individuals and associations wanting to self-build. Councils must also grant sufficient planning consents to meet the demand.

Here are some links to information about self building.

Government guidance on self-building. An official .gov.uk site with a wealth of information and links to other pages.

The Planning Portal. A wealth of information and help for what they say is “a large undertaking, that requires time and dedication but will result in a home that is perfectly suited to your needs and your lifestyle”

Self Build Portal. Site of the National Custom and Self Build Association with practical advice on how to set about a project.

Building the Dream. Links to episodes of the Channel 4 series in which architectural designer Charlie Luxton helps people build dream homes that are both amazing and affordable.

Local Information. Mid Suffolk and Babergh councils’ webpage about the local register of those of want to self-build.

Home Building & Renovating website has good examples of self build homes at all prices, from builds of under £100,000. The picture illustrating this post is a self build illustrated there.

Personal note: Although my current home was a renovation it was also effectively a self-build. Among the advantages is getting what you want and ensuring that all possible work goes to local people.

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