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Self-build 'more suitable for ambitious projects'

Self-build projects are often a more appropriate course of action for larger designs and for those who have ambitious plans for their new property, a sector expert has claimed.

Steve Turner, a spokesperson for the Home Building Federation, said the majority of self-build construction projects across the UK over recent years have been for larger homes with more land attached.

It is a national trend that has seen those who are more well off able to afford bespoke construction materials and methods to achieve their dream home, but it is a situation which means the majority of the market has been somewhat left behind.

Mr Turner concluded: "There are not as many self-build homes on smaller, Brownfield plots that are in town centres. The evidence is that self-builds are more appropriate for people who are better off and can afford to build bigger homes in out-of-town countryside locations."

He added that in general, Greenfield sites have seen the lion's share of self-build activity in the past and this is a situation that is unlikely to change considerably over the coming years, despite the efforts of the government to promote self-build to the masses.

That said, earlier this month the Homes and Communities Agency announced a significant milestone for the Low Impact Living, Affordable Community - LILAC - self-build cooperative in Leeds.

It is a self-build initiative that is being supported by the government due to its unique ethos regarding sustainability. The homes that are being created as part of the project are completely recyclable, utilising materials such as straw bales to deliver new properties that are 100 per cent sustainable, with low emissions.

Paul Chatterton, a member of the LILAC co-operative, said: "This is a landmark moment for showing the way for a new generation of communities wanting to build their own neighbourhoods." 

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