Self-Build & Custom Housebuilding

The Self-Build and Custom Housebuilding Act 2015 introduced new duties on local authorities to keep, and have regard to, registers of individuals and community groups seeking land for the purposes of self or custom housebuilding. Surrey Heath Borough Council has established a Register to help determine the demand for self-build and custom housebuilding in Surrey Heath. The Register will provide the Council with a record of individuals and groups who are interested in building their own homes within the authority’s local area.  The Register is divided into Part 1 and Part 2.  Individuals or Associations who apply for entry on the Register and meet all the eligibility criteria will be entered on Part 2 of the Register.  We have 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.  At the end of each base period, we have 3 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.  Please note this is not a duty however, to provide a plot directly to each individual on the Register.

National Eligibility Criteria

If you are seeking to register interest in self-build and custom housebuilding in Surrey Heath, please be aware the Self-build and Custom Housebuilding Regulations 2016 require that to be eligible for entry to the register, you must be:

  • 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.

Update to the Surrey Heath Self-Build entry

Following agreement by the Executive committee on 18th February 2020 a series of changes have been introduced for individuals / associations of individuals to enter and remain on the register.  The changes are set out below:

  • Modification of the Local Connection Test criteria.  To be eligible for Part 1 of the Register an individual must:
  1. Have lived in Surrey Heath borough for 3 consecutive years
  2. Have previously lived within the borough for 3 consecutive years within the past 10 years
  3. 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)
  4. 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 introduction of fees to enter and remain on the register
  • A financial solvency test to ensure an applicant can afford to purchase and develop a self-build plot

The updated eligibility criteria guidance which covers the areas above will need to be completed as part of the Application Form for individuals and Association Groups, the link for which can be found under 'Apply to Register your Interest'.


Fees are now payable to enter onto and remain on the Register.  This enables the Council to cover the costs of the administration of the Register.  An initial fee will be payable to enter on Part 1 and Part 2 of the Register and is payable upon application. If payment is not made at the time of completing the application online, the applicant will not be added to the Register and the application will not be accepted.  Annual fees will thereafter be payable to remain on the Register for entrants on Part 1 only.  In the event the Annual fee is not paid, entrants will be moved to Part 2 of the Register.  The initial fees and Annual fees are as follows:-

Fee type Individual Associations
Initial Part 1 inclusion fee £75 £125
Annual Part 1 fee £30 £30
Initial Part 2 inclusion fee £75 £125
Annual Part 2 fee None None

Apply to Register Interest

To register your interest in a self-build or custom housebuilding plot as an individual or as an Association, please complete a Self Build Expression of Interest online form.

Completed applications received by the Council will enable an assessment of the level of interest to be made for self-build or custom-build homes in Surrey Heath. A successful application entitles the individual or association group to be entered onto the Register but does not guarantee that a suitable plot will be identified or become available.  All fees must be paid at the time of completing the online application form.  The Planning Policy team will review each application.  If an application is refused, a refund will be processed accordingly.  If you have any queries, please email

Applications must contain details of your name, address, date of birth, nationality and confirmation that you are seeking a plot of land to construct a self-build or custom-build house as your sole or main residence. The Register will not be publicly available, but some data, such as the number of successful entries on the register may be published.

Data Protection Act 2018

The information provided and any personal or financial information subsequently gathered in regards to your application will be held securely by Surrey Heath Borough Council for the purposes of registering applicants as showing interest in self-build and custom housebuilding within the Borough of Surrey Heath.  The information held may be used by the Council and other public bodies that have a duty to have regard to information contained in the Self-Build Register in undertaking their services and functions.  The Register will not be publicly available, but some anonymised data, such as the number of successful entries on the Register may be published.  You have the right to opt-out of your information being used and stored by the Council for the purposes of the Self-Building Register at any time.  To opt-out email:

Data Retention

The Council will destroy all records held in the Self and Custom Build Register after six years of admission to the Register unless we receive a written request for the information to be kept.  This will include all data provided by applicants who are not officially included within the Register as a result of inadequate provision of proof of identity etc.  All information will be held securely and will be securely destroyed when it is no longer required.  More information on how the Council shares and uses personal information may be found on the Council's website at

Further Information

Further information on self-build and custom housebuilding can be found at or by clicking on the image below.

The Self Build Portal Link Image