During 2016, the Self Build and Custom Housebuilding Act 2015 was updated, now including the Right to Build Register. The register is a list of people with any type of planning proposal, which will have to be honoured by the local authority at some point in the future. Simply add your name and your proposal to the list and you will get planning permission.

Sounds unreal, but the new Housing and Planning Act 2016 is the law which supports the Right to Build Register. Once the demand for land and planning has been quantified, the Housing and Planning Act 2016 requires all planning to be granted, for the primary residence of the applicant.

Implementing the agreements to so many expected planning requests is a mammoth task and therefore regular summits are being held to work out the finer details of actualisation.

A Right to Build summit was held at the end of 2017, where representatives of NaCSBA (National Custom and Self Build Association) updated members on some of the key campaigns…

Virtuous Cycle

The UK is still in a housing crisis, and speaking at the recent Right to Build Summit, former Nationwide Building Society strategist, Andrew Baddeley-Chappell said, ‘On a meta level, the simplest way to address the housing crisis is to build more homes. And we need a variety of approaches to do this.’

Mr Baddeley-Chappell went on to say that his belief, recognised by the Government is that the large volume housing developers do not work in the interests of the people and that he believes his ‘Virtuous Cycle’ is ‘a benevolent approach that will support innovation and put the public needs for affordability at the heart of the creating new homes.’

If this cycle is adopted, it is thought to make custom and self-build an option for anyone wanting to own their own home, and bring greater choice and more affordable custom and self-build homes to the market.

Right to Build Task Force

The task force is nearing it’s first year of work, campaigning to make self-build more affordable and accessible. They are tasked with advising local authorities and stakeholders on local opportunities, and supports the targets set by the Government for delivering 20,000 custom and self-build homes by 2020.

To make the Task Force itself accessible to local authorities and the public, they are hosting expos in areas where their support has resulted in custom homes coming to market. These expos are continuing into 2018, following successes in Aylesbury and Wellingborough.

The Right to Build Task Force aims to continue educating local authorities and building a willingness to support custom build homes across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Long Term Demand Assessment Tool

Quantifying demand and gap analysis of the Right to Build Register is expected to be undertaken by a tool developed by housing and planning consultancy, Three Dragons. Numbers are currently totalling 33,000 on the register, so the desire for self-build and custom build homes is ‘considerable’. Director of Three Dragons told the summit, ‘we need to estimate the size of the market in different areas, to ensure the market is ready.’

The Assessment Tool is planned to feed into long-term local authority planning, offering a projected demand for appetite for self-build. This will provide better information to developers and land owners, as well as local authorities, answering questions on plot availability and size, for example. It also means that refinements to projects can be made to reflect the affluence of the area and therefore adjust plot sizes and build styles accordingly.

Right to Build register

Did you know the Right to Build register existed? Find out more about your local register, and indeed, add your proposal here:


You can read the full Right to Build Summit update here, with thanks to NaCSBA: http://www.nacsba.org.uk/news/2017/12/29/nacsbas-right-build-summit-2017-campaign-update/