Self-build and custom house building

Information about self-build and custom housebuilding and how to register your interest in such a project.

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Self-build and custom house building

Local authorities are required to keep a register of individuals and associations who are seeking land for the purposes of self or custom housebuilding. Self-build and custom housebuilding cover a wide spectrum, from projects where individuals are involved in building or managing the construction of their home from beginning to end, to projects where individuals commission their home, making key design and layout decisions, but the home is built ready for occupation. The Self-build and Custom Housebuilding Act 2015 (as amended by the Housing and Planning Act 2016) provides a legal definition of self-build and custom housebuilding.

We have created a register to help understand the demand for self-build and custom housebuilding in Surrey Heath. The register is divided into two parts.

Part 2 of the register is for individuals or associations who apply for entry on the register and meet all the following eligibility criteria:

  • over the age of 18;
  • a British citizen, a national of an EEA State other than the United Kingdom, or a national of Switzerland;
  • seeking (either alone or with others) to acquire a serviced plot of land in Surrey Heath Borough to build a house to occupy as your sole or main residence.

Part 1 of the register is for individuals or associations who apply for entry on the register and meet all of the criteria for Part 2 of the register, and at least one of the following eligibility criteria:

  • have lived in Surrey Heath borough for 3 consecutive years
  • have previously lived within the borough for 3 consecutive years within the past 10 years
  • be currently employed in Surrey Heath for a period of 3 out of the last 5 years (this must be continuous employment for no less than 16 hours per week)
  • be¬†currently in the service of the regular armed forces of the Crown or have left the service of the armed forces of the Crown within the last 5 years ("Regular Armed Forces of the Crown" means regular forces within the meaning of section 374 of the Armed Forces Act 2006 (1)

The Council has a legal duty to give planning permission for enough suitable serviced plots of land to meet the demand for self-build and custom housebuilding in Surrey Heath.

The level of demand is established by the number of entries added to Part 1 of the register during a base period, running from the 31 October to 30 October each year.

At the end of each base period, the Council has three years in which to give an equivalent number of planning permissions to plots of land which are suitable for self-build and custom housebuilding as there are entries for that base period.

Registration does not guarantee that a suitable plot will be identified or become available.

More information

Visit the Self Build Portal (external website) for more information.