Developers & Self Build
As the government aims to promote the self build agenda, will this be endorsed by national developers and how can developers assist or benefit from the process.
Despite political wishes to expand the number of self build homes, potential self builders are sometimes put off by the difficulties of the process, availability of land and the financial cost of undertaking projects. Self build currently accounts for around 9% of new home completions in the UK, much lower than other countries.
Currently the model of self build is primarily based upon one off plots constructed as individual projects. Limitations of available land for such types of development and financial requirements will restrict the people who undertake such projects. A shift to increase availability of land for self build and make it more financially attainable is required to drive a significant increases in its contribution to new housing completions.
Announced last year the government made a selection of sites are available for large scale self builds, a step away from the one off approach self build. To continue bringing larger sites forward and develop a shift in the self build sector, involvement of a number of private sector developers would be required to bring sites forward for self build and gain (at least) outline planning permissions
Developers could be part of the self build solution
A large site could benefit from a developer implementation, including installation of site infrastructure and services to plot ,design options and choice to act as build contractor. Formalising this process would reduce the risk and uncertainty in a self build project. These benefits would make self build a more viable option to more people, particularly if it improves the availability of self build mortgages by virtue of a reduced risk.
Promoting self build for an existing developer could mean designating a portion of a site for self build which may assist in gaining approvals. Where the developer having sold the land to the self builder could be contracted to build the customised property, giving a hassle free route to self build. Construction costs would be scalable depending on customisation required by the self-builder. The benefit of a warranty and CIL tax exemption (currently under consultation) offers benefits to both parties
Whilst this remains our opinion of the current conditions of self build in the UK, it is based on experience and thoughts of multiple forms of self built projects undertaken as one off projects and larger multiple unit self build sites.