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Government cuts levy to encourage self-builds

The government is making it easier for people who want to build their own house by cutting a levy which has led to many self-build projects being shelved.Many self-builders will now be exempt from the community infrastructure levy, which has significantly increased the costs of building a home. Until now, someone building their own four-bedroom house of 150 sq m in size could have been liable to pay £15,000 in the levy if a council charged £100 per sq m for residential development in that area.Relief from the levy will apply to homes that are owner-occupied and built or commissioned by individuals, families or groups of individuals for their own use.The government hopes it will help to boost the nation's housing supply and help aspiring self-builders to realise their goals.Chairman of the National Self-Build Association (NaSBA) Ted Stevens welcomed the announcement. He said NasBA estimates around one in eight self-build projects has been abandoned as a result of the levy.He added that the organisation expects 2,000 to 3,000 self-builds will begin on-site during the next few months.Communities secretary Eric Pickles said relief from the levy will "help people realise their dream and provide a home for their family. "By boosting the numbers of people building their own home we can help increase the number of new houses built each year in this country and support local businesses," he added. "There are too many levies and charges on housing. By cutting these, we can help build more homes."The levy will no longer apply to extensions and family annexes over a certain size. The government is also considering removing section 106 tariff charges from self-build properties. As of April, a council tax surcharge on family annexes will no longer apply.A number of other measures have been introduced to encourage people to build their own homes, such as freeing up land through the Homes and Communities Agency and making it easier to obtain a self-build mortgage. 

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