Right to Build
Posted by: Adam Angliss
Take a stroll around your local area and chances are you’ll find a new housing development in progress. Government figures from 2017/18* show that the number of new houses being built in England reached its highest level in 10 years. Meanwhile, experts claim that to close the housing gap, the government must increase its target of building 300,000 new homes a year by another 40,000.
Considering these figures, it’s understandable that local residents are concerned about losing control of their communities. However, a little-known government scheme may offer some attractive options to self builders looking to get involved in their local neighbourhood planning.
In 2016, the government gave local authorities the responsibility to provide serviced plots of land to individuals or associations for custom or self-build housing. Known as Right to Build, this scheme includes several funds that offer money to self builders and small developers to help plan and develop housing in their communities.
The key programmes are:
Custom Build Serviced Plots Loan Fund
Funding: Up to £3m and 75% of capital investment. Repayable capital loan with 0.6-10% interest
A serviced plot is defined as land that has access to a public highway and is ready to receive utilities. With £150m available in total, this fund helps projects that create a minimum of five serviced building plots for private homebuilders. Ends 2020.
Contact:Homes and Communities Agency
Community Buildings Programme / Neighbourhood Planning Programme
Funding: Up to £40,000 non-repayable grant / Up to £14,000 non-repayable grant
As well as grants, these programmes offer planning support to help community groups who want to take charge of home building in their local area.
Contact:Locality (My Community Help Centre)
Housing Growth Partnership
Funding: £500,000 - £5m, and up to 75% of total equity requirement
Created by the Homes and Communities Agency and Lloyds Banking Group, this fund provides investment to small and medium-sized builders to grow their business in exchange for a negotiated share of their profits. It supports projects of five to 75 households.
Contact:Housing Growth Partnership
If all this sounds a bit complicated, then don’t worry; the Right to Build Toolkit website is a great place to learn about the various options.
And at NYEs we’re doing our part to support self builders by ensuring that we always keep enough stock of essential building materials to hand. This way there’s no need to worry about long lead times on orders. If you’re planning your own custom or self build project, then don’t hesitate to let us know what you need. We’re always happy to help!