Right to Build task force set up in UK

A new Right to Build Expert Task Force has been launched in the UK with the aim of creating significantly more affordable homes in the next three years.

The Task Force will work with local authorities, community groups and other organisations across the country to deliver large, affordable custom and self-build housing projects.

It will be working with at least 80 organisations to help ensure other projects benefit and the lessons learned will be shared through regional events and case studies within the Right to Build Portal.

‘Although we have these important new powers in England, custom and self-build housing will only become mainstream if local authorities and other organisations truly harness these powers,’ said MP Richard Bacon, chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Self Build, Custom and Community Housebuilding and Placemaking, who together with NaCSBA has championed the introduction of the Right to Build Task Force.

‘This is where the new Right to Build Task Force comes in, with its experts on hand to help. This may be councils needing help setting up, or better marketing of their demand registers, or advice in creating planning strategies,’ he explained.

‘Alternatively, it could also include affordable housing providers or community groups who are needing help to engage with Councils. I am confident the Task Force will deliver real change,’ he added.

The Task Force is funded by the Nationwide Foundation, which aims to increase the availability of decent affordable homes for people in housing need.

Chair of NaCSBA, Michael Holmes, pointed out that the move will support its goal to ensure that people currently in housing need, who want to build their own decent and affordable home, can exercise their Right to Build.

‘The Task Force will deliver valuable support to local authorities, affordable housing providers and community groups delivering effective policies and unlocking real projects. We know that English local authorities have a duty to grant planning permissions for 18,000 serviced plots by 31st October 2019,’ he said.

‘And this is only the tip of the iceberg with people registering on the new English demand registers on a daily basis. There is also huge untapped potential in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland,’ he added.

The Task Force was recognised by Government in its recently published Housing White Paper and is being supported by a number of partners including the Building and Social Housing Foundation, National Housing Federation, Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and Royal Town Planning Institute.

The NaCSBA was formed in 2008 as a network of companies and individuals with the common aim of proving that custom and self-build housing can make a significant contribution to home building in the UK. The NaCBSA’s objective is to make affordable, high quality, individually designed, sustainable homes an option for the many, not just the few.

The Right to Build was established in England in 2016 through two legal obligations on Local Authorities. Under the Self-build and Custom Housebuilding Act 2015 all local authorities in England must keep a register of individuals and associations of individuals who are seeking to acquire serviced plots of land in the authority’s area and to have regard to that register when carrying out their functions.

The Housing and Planning Act 2016 requires all local authorities in England to grant sufficient ‘development permissions’ to meet the demand for self-build and custom housebuilding in their area, as established by their register, on a rolling basis.

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