Research reveals knowledge about self building land register is lacking in UK

Taylor Scott International News

One in five people in the UK believe there would be increased public support for the building of new homes if self or custom build properties contributed to a greater proportion of those built, new research shows. Despite the Self Build and Custom Housebuilding Act (also known as the Right to Build Act) coming into force on 01 April 2016, some 77% of people in the UK are unaware councils are now required to keep a register of those looking to buy land in the local area to carry out self or custom build projects. The registers will work alongside measures due to come into force in the upcoming Housing and Planning Bill, which will require authorities to ensure they have sufficient permissioned plots to match the local demand on their register. However, the research from the National Custom and Self Build Association (NaCSBA) and Ipswich Building Society found that one in eight expect to show an interest in self build property within the next year. This figure has remained constant since the annual survey was launched in 2013. However, just 2% of people stated their intention to take specific actions to progress their self build projects, such as purchasing land, submitting a planning application or starting construction, within the next 12 months. ‘At a time when much of the UK is experiencing a housing shortage, more needs to be done to raise awareness of this new legislation and encourage those looking for a new home to consider undertaking self and custom build projects,’ said Paul Winter, chief executive officer of Ipswich Building Society. ‘Due to the complex nature of a self build project, those seeking these specialist mortgages are advised to research the market and seek out a provider, and product, that best suits their individual needs and circumstances,’ he added. According to NaCSBA chairman Michael Holmes the success of the Right to Build Policy initiative, and the delivery of land to meet the huge pent up demand, depends on the registers yet he pointed out that the research shows that 77% of people aren't aware of the registers, nor what their success means to creating better new homes. ‘This figure needs to change. The NaCSBA is working hard to raise the public profile and support councils across the country to ensure that they have the correct measures in place. Currently, only 35% of LPAs have adopted a register and our aim is to get this to 100%,’ he said. Raymond Connor, chief executive of BuildStore, believes that this will change as more people become aware that finding a suitable plot of land has become simpler. ‘The research shows there is a significant gap between those interested in self build and those who intend to take specific action to progress self build projects. However, it is likely this sector will soon grow once more people are aware the main challenge of finding a suitable plot of land has now been simplified,’ he explained. Taylor Scott International

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