Teignbridge launches self build guides for communities, landowners and small builders

Longtime pioneer in self build, Teignbridge District Council has worked with experts from the Right to Build Task Force to create two new guides for anyone wanting to help provide more custom and self build homes. The two guides have very different, but key, areas of focus: community-led housing and landowners/builders.

Leader of Teignbridge District Council and Right to Build Task Force Deputy Ambassador, Councillor Jeremy Christophers said: “These Teignbridge handbooks show how our communities can take control and provide the homes they need for local people with custom and self build.

“Both guides highlight a new way of delivering local and affordable homes. Local community groups, parish and town councils, landowners and building firms can now really get to grips with these new ways of helping people unlock their own front door in much-needed local homes.

Mario Wolf, Director of the Right to Build Task Force, said: “These Teignbridge handbooks were written by the Right to Build Task Force’s experts, drawing on their experiences across the UK. They’re an invaluable source of information for anyone looking to diversify housing that can be used by councils and other stakeholders working to create housing choice locally.

“The private sector guide supports developers and enablers working to meet local need and speed-up the delivery of a diverse range of homes. This provides an additional route to housing where more plots can be consented for custom and self build. For example, the guide could help farmers diversify and manage development on their land.

“The communities guide is a core text for neighbourhood planning and community groups – that provides a greater understanding of the benefits and challenges of creating self build opportunities locally.

“The Right to Build Task Force supports a range of organisations as they work to create many more custom and self build plots, making it a choice for a far wider range of people. These guides will have a direct positive impact in this ambition.”

Luke Copley-Wilkins, Carpenter Oak, said: "Carpenter Oak and Teignbridge District Council are a driving force behind custom build, a new opportunity in the housing market to enable self and custom builders with the confidence and choice to design their home. This is a refreshing approach to our standard housing model in the UK.

"Our 5 plots in Kingsteignton are an exemplar of removing the barriers for landowners who wish to bring smaller plots to market. These guides are the next step in supporting self builders and landowners to bridge the gap, giving them both confidence in response to the housing shortage."

Community groups

Designed specifically for community groups and neighbourhood planning groups, “A guide to delivering custom and self build housing developments in your community” will help residents, parish and town councils and community land trusts comprehend how communities can go about custom and self build housing and the role that the Neighbourhood Plan can play in bringing them forward. This provides greater choice, and supports housing diversity to reflect local needs, beyond what the open market delivers.

The Communities Guide includes the following:

  • Summary of what Custom and Self Build is and the different types of Custom and Self Build models available;
  • What the key economic, social and environmental benefits of Custom and Self Build sites are over other types of housing, particularly market housing, to both communities and landowners
  •  How to address risk, and how banks, developers and the construction sector have geared up to help.
  • Why do it, the current picture, government investment
  • Case study examples, small and larger scale delivered schemes.
  • How local communities can enable custom and self build, approaches including Neighbourhood Plans, Neighbourhood Development Order (NDO), Community Right to Build Order (CRTBO), Community Led Projects, Local Plans.

Sue Craythorne, Kenton Neighbourhood Planning Group said: “I found the communities guide straightforward to follow, and the common questions section was particularly helpful. The guide offers lots of tips and sources of support. There is some technical language – but having said that, anyone contemplating going down this route will have to deal with all that and more!”

Landowners & builders

The second guide helps landowners and building firms understand opportunities presented by self and custom build. “How the private sector can get involved in delivering more custom build homes in Teignbridge” explains the benefits of custom and self build homes by reducing development risk and giving people more choice in the housing market. The guide shows private sector builders, developers, landowners and planning professionals that custom and self build is a viable, profitable housing option, and can be a key route that works for small-and-medium enterprise companies.

The developers guide includes:

  • What is Custom Build? Explains what service a Custom Build developer might provide, i.e. just selling a serviced plot or serviced plot plus a design and build package. Includes references to savings which can be made (eg. only paying Stamp Duty Land Tax on the land purchase) + include reference to the financial benefits of the Community Infrastructure Levy exemption for landowners and expands on the wider availability of specialist mortgage funding for purchasers.
  • What are the benefits? Includes reduced risk, partnerships, new funding and mortgage availability, speed of transactions, a larger customer pool, a more attractive proposition for existing local communities.
  • A worked financial model comparison section: this models a small residential development within Teignbridge, using local land prices, labour rates etc.
  • Cash flow implications, demonstrating how custom build requires less borrowing, and for a shorter period.

Landowner Neil Townsend, said: “Providing 5 custom build plots in conjunction with Carpenter Oak offers me a more certain outcome in terms of design quality and place-making, which is set out clearly within the guide. The guide explains ways that serviced custom and self build plots can be provided, which will be attractive to a range of landowners.”

Right to Build Portal

Anyone interested in building their own home should add their details to their local register at the National Custom and Self Build Association’s Right to Build Portal.

Photo caption:
L-R: Lulu Greenhaigh-Jones, Carpenter Oak; Luke Copley-Wilkins Carpenter Oak; Neil Townsend, Landowner; Cllr Jeremy Christophers, Teignbridge District Council Leader; Alex Boulger, Carpenter Oak; Charles Acland, Teignbridge Self-Build Officer
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