Building your own home

Support from London’s borough councils shows that self-build housing is not just the stuff of prime-time television.

More and more local authorities throughout the UK are identifying land for self-build and custom-build housing. That’s great news if you’re thinking of building your own home… not so great if the plots are poor quality or hard to find.

The decision, therefore, by many of London’s borough councils to release more land for self-build schemes not only provides exciting opportunities where people want to live but also demonstrates the growing importance of self-build in the battle to ease Britain’s housing crisis.

While it was been a legal requirement since 2016 for councils in England to keep a register of people wishing to self-build, London’s boroughs are going a step further – by launching specific self-build programmes for individuals and community-led housing groups to access land.

These councils are now offering a wide range of advice and support, from regular forums for those on the self-build register to workshops and meetings with other stakeholders interested in self-build.

Meanwhile, the Mayor of London is backing Community-led Housing London, an online advice hub that guides, mentors and supports groups at an early stage. Community-led groups can also apply to the Mayor’s Community Housing Fund for financial support to commission business plans, architectural designs, development appraisals or legal advice to secure a site, or to cover set-up and training costs.

What is community-led housing?

Thanks to television, we’re all familiar with individuals wanting to build a dream house. However, more and more groups of people with similar needs, values and interests are getting together to directly organise the design and construction of their own homes. Community-led housing can be DIY or, increasingly, involve an architect for design and delivery. Significantly, a community-led housing group will consider long-term ownership and management and ensure that certain benefits (say, affordability) are protected.

How Box Architects can help

Whether you are an individual self-builder or a community group, and want to build in London or around the UK, we can help you realise your dream. We’ll take you through every stage, from the moment you register on a self-build programme – through planning and architectural design to technical development and construction.