Dream it, build it, live it - Building your own home

Every year, around 10,000 people in the UK build their own home. However, at present, there is no robust data currently collected on the scale of the sector.

Self-Builders come from all walks of life, including:

  • young people keen to get onto the housing ladder, with self-build being an affordable option for their first home;
  • families needing more space and wanting a larger property that is bespoke to their needs;
  • retired people wanting to downsize or build their dream home;
  • DIYers looking for a project to sink their teeth into.

Whatever your motivation, whether you are a total novice or someone with plenty of experience in the construction sector, self-building can be an accessible route to a new home.

The section below aims to address a number of frequently asked questions about self-build and custom build housing, which we hope will assist you. If you need any additional information or have any further questions, please get in touch with us at selfbuild@leeds.gov.uk



Are there any eligibility criteria to meet for the inclusion on the self-build register?Are there any eligibility criteria to meet for the inclusion on the self-build register?<div class="ExternalClass614D7594978A4EC6ABBA2431E3287873"><p>Applicants to the Council’s self-build register must meet all of the following criteria to be eligible for entry:</p> <ul><li>Aged 18 or over;</li> <li>A British citizen, a national of a EEA State other than the United Kingdom, or a national of Switzerland; and</li> <li>Seeking, along or with others, to acquire a serviced plot of land in the Local Authority’s area to build a house to occupy as that individual’s sole or main residence.</li></ul> <p>Local Authorities cannot adopt any further eligibility criteria than the points outlined above.</p></div>
Does Leeds City Council have a self-build register?Does Leeds City Council have a self-build register?<div class="ExternalClass9D86B920C582427C8728BFE36BDDFB57"><p>​An online register for people interested in self-build and custom build is <strong><a href="https://secured.leeds.gov.uk/_layouts/FormServer.aspx?XsnLocation=/infopathformtemplates/Self%20Build%20Register.xsn&ClientInstalled=true&Source=https://secured.leeds.gov.uk/infopathformtemplates/Forms/AllItems.aspx&DefaultItemOpen=1">available here</a></strong>.</p> <p>The register will allow the Council to get a better understanding of the needs of people who want to build their own home in Leeds.</p> <p>The register is in line with the requirements of the Housing and Planning Bill.​​<span id="ms-rterangecursor-start" style="display:none;"></span><span id="ms-rterangecursor-end" style="display:none;"></span></p></div>
Does the Council have any useful information that will assist with designing my own home?https://www.leeds.gov.uk/council/Pages/Neighbourhoods-for-living.aspx, Neighbourhoods for livingDoes the Council have any useful information that will assist with designing my own home?<div class="ExternalClass191CAC97C8F94B62BE78E5033ED14649"><p>Yes, the <strong><a href="/docs/neighbourhoods%20for%20living%20full%20version(1).pdf">Neighbourhoods for Living document</a></strong> (PDF 6.4MB) is a useful guide for developers and designers in Leeds regarding:</p> <ul><li>The themes and principles of residential design;</li> <li>The character and essence of Leeds;</li> <li>Submission requirements and analysis based process.</li></ul> <p>For any Council sites that are put on the market, a design guide will be included in the market documents, which will highlight key design principles from Neighbourhoods for Living to consider, specifically relating to the plot and character of the surrounding area.​​​</p></div>
How can I find out more about self-build and custom build housing?How can I find out more about self-build and custom build housing?<div class="ExternalClass8DD928E4CBB44F7FAB52086EB923886A"><p>If you have any further questions, then please <a href="mailto:selfbuild@leeds.gov.uk"><strong>e-mail the Housing Growth Team</strong></a>.</p> <p>A useful guide is the <strong><a href="http://customandselfbuildtoolkit.org.uk/#">Custom Self Build Toolkit</a></strong> which has been produced by the National Custom and Self Build Association (NaCSBA). The toolkit provides a comprehensive overview of this type of housing along with a number of case studies from across the world.</p> <p>Alongside this, there are a number of external agencies who may be able to assist if you are thinking of building your own home. Links to these agencies can be found below.​​</p> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.buildstore.co.uk/"><strong>Build store</strong></a></li> <li><a href="http://www.communityselfbuildagency.org.uk/"><strong>Community Self Build Agency</strong></a></li> <li><a href="http://www.cch.coop/"><strong>Confederation of Co-operative Housing</strong></a></li> <li><a href="http://customandselfbuildtoolkit.org.uk/#"><strong>Custom and Self Build Toolkit</strong></a></li> <li><a href="http://youtu.be/O63akqkByxI"><strong>Frontline Self Build Project</strong></a> (Youtube)</li> <li><a href="http://www.homesandcommunities.co.uk/community-led-development"><strong>Homes & Communities Agency (HCA)</strong></a></li> <li><a href="http://www.nsbrc.co.uk/"><strong>National Self Build and Renovation Centre</strong></a></li> <li><a href="http://www.nasba.org.uk/information"><strong>National Self Build Association</strong></a></li> </ul> ​<span id="ms-rterangecursor-start" style="display:none;"></span><span id="ms-rterangecursor-end" style="display:none;"></span></div>
How does the planning process work for self-build housing?How does the planning process work for self-build housing?<div class="ExternalClassD83BB5962BAB4CF0B878FAAC411E3EC2"><p>The Council is in the process of producing an easy to follow guide on planning for self-builders.</p> <p>In the meantime, until this information is published, please take a look at our <strong><a href="/council/Pages/Planning-application-forms,-guidance-notes-and-validation-criteria.aspx">Planning application forms, guidance notes and validation criteria</a></strong> page.</p> <p>We encourage self-builders to have an agent familiar with the planning process as it can be quite complicated and involve various technical requirements even for small-scale projects.</p> <p>Details of agents can be found on the <a href="http://www.rtpi.org.uk/"><strong>Royal Town Planning Institute</strong></a> and <a href="http://www.rics.org/uk/"><strong>Royal Institution of Charted Surveyors</strong></a> websites.​​​​<span id="ms-rterangecursor-start" style="display:none;"></span><span id="ms-rterangecursor-end" style="display:none;"></span></p></div>
Do I have to pay Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) on self-build developments?Do I have to pay Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) on self-build developments?<div class="ExternalClassC0D4938019934F1D838EBC8B74827F24"><p>Self-build projects are exempt from CIL.</p> <p>A self-build exemption form must be completed and submitted with supporting evidence before your project starts, along with notifying the Council’s Planning Services section, and a further form submitted within six months of completing the project. If the evidence is not submitted to the Council within six months, the full CIL charge becomes payable.</p></div>
Can Leeds City Council help me to find a site to build on?Can Leeds City Council help me to find a site to build on?<div class="ExternalClassF21F50727FF04D37913E22B66E4C0ACC"><p>​The Council is in the process of identifying sites that could be potentially suitable for self-build and custom build housing. Once ready for sale, details of the sites will be listed on our <strong><a href="/Business/Pages/Landforsale.aspx">Land for sale page</a></strong>.​​​​<span id="ms-rterangecursor-start" style="display:none;"></span><span id="ms-rterangecursor-end" style="display:none;"></span></p></div>
What are the benefits of self-build?What are the benefits of self-build?<div class="ExternalClassC485CFEFAC6F401FA28D685D51F9B288">​There are a number of advantages associated with building your home.<br><br>• You can build in your preferred location or area (subject to availability).<br>• You can design a home to suit your lifestyle and meet future requirements.<br>• You can get more for your money<br>• You can design a home that makes use of new, modern and innovative products.<br>• You can build a property more quickly than being part of a larger, phased development<br>• You can have an opportunity to develop construction skills<br>• You can experience a sense of achievement from seeing your venture develop from inception through design to completion.</div>
What are the key things to consider before building my own home?What are the key things to consider before building my own home?<div class="ExternalClassE2AB479A6F99498EB2347BDA8E033B66"><p>If you are thinking of building your own home, there are a few key things to consider:</p> <ul> <li>The length of time it will take</li> <li>Budget</li> <li>Technical and advisory services needed, and where to get them</li> <li>Finding land</li> </ul> <br> <p>Guidance documents <strong><a href="/docs/Pre-application%20enquiries.pdf">Pre-application enquiries</a></strong> (PDF 64KB) and <strong><a href="/docs/Planning%20Policy%20and%20Guidance.pdf">Planning Policy and Guidance</a></strong> (PDF 119KB) are available from the <strong>Documents</strong> section of this page.</p> ​ ​​​​​<span id="ms-rterangecursor-start" style="display:none;"></span><span id="ms-rterangecursor-end" style="display:none;"></span></div>
What is Self-Build and Custom Build housing?What is Self-Build and Custom Build housing?<div class="ExternalClass05EB6562FC134FF09CB2080DE2958B63"><p>In line with national guidance, self-build and custom build housing can be defined as follows:</p> <p><strong>Custom Build</strong></p> <p>This is when people commission the construction of their home from a developer/enabler, builder/contractor or package company. With ‘custom build’ the occupants usually don't do any of the physical construction work but still make the key design decisions. Around 60 per cent of all private homebuilding is currently delivered this way.</p> <p><strong>Self Build</strong></p> <p>This is when someone gets involved in, or manages, the construction of their new home (with or without the help of sub-contractors). At present around 40 per cent of projects are defined as ‘self build.’</p> <p><strong>Group Projects</strong></p> <p>This is when a group of people set themselves up as an organisation to procure the construction of a number of homes as a collective. There are many ways this can be done – for example, by creating their own development company, or by setting up as a housing co-operative, a co-housing organisation or as a housing association. This is currently a small share of all private homebuilding - accountable for roughly 3 per cent nationally.​​​​<span id="ms-rterangecursor-start" style="display:none;"></span><span id="ms-rterangecursor-end" style="display:none;"></span></p></div>
Will the Council publish details of people who are signed up to the Self-build register?Will the Council publish details of people who are signed up to the Self-build register?<div class="ExternalClass5193A0B9443D4700B5584A636F2E5673"><p>The Council will not publish details of individuals who have signed up to the register.</p> <p>The only information which will be published on a periodic basis is: </p> <ul><li>The number of individuals and groups on the register:</li> <li>The number of serviced plots sought across the City; and</li> <li>Preferences which people have indicated i.e. location and property type.</li></ul></div>



Submitting an applicationhttps://www.leeds.gov.uk/docs/Submitting an application.pdf80590pdf
After the Decisionhttps://www.leeds.gov.uk/docs/After the Decision.pdf73076pdf
Planning Policy and Guidancehttps://www.leeds.gov.uk/docs/Planning Policy and Guidance.pdf122200pdf
Self-build simplified validation criteriahttps://www.leeds.gov.uk/docs/Self-build simplified validation criteria.pdf191122pdf

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