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New support for self-builders announced

The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) has announced a number of new proposals which it hopes will deliver greater support to individuals embarking on self-build plans in the future.

Housing minister Grant Shapps has unveiled a package of initiatives designed to promote this form of home creation in the UK.

The government's efforts are set to include doubling the size of the UK self-build sector through the introduction of increased access to finance, a reduction in red tape, the promotion of more builders to offer support to self-build enthusiasts and the delivery of more land for this type of project.

He commented: "Last year, self-builders accounted for about 14,000 new homes in this country, more than many large commercial builders. Yet our self-build industry still lags behind much of the rest of the world.

"That's why today, I'm pledging to back the self-build boom and support the industry to double in size over the next few years."

Furthermore, the DCLG's report highlights a growing level of mortgage support for this type of development - with a 141 per cent rise in availability predicted over the coming three years.

It also showed that the current average UK property price of £232,000 is well above the cost of individuals building their own home, which can be achieved for under £150,000.

According to Dr Mark Cowley, principal partner at Listers Geotechnical Consultants, developers could significantly benefit from the delivery of more brownfield sites on which to build in meeting the UK's ongoing housing shortage.

He argued that as the UK is an island nation, it is important that sites which have previously been built on but which are no longer in use are made available to construction companies, as there is a limited supply of available acres at present and it would be easier to use these sites than to build on virgin, greenbelt plots. 

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