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Councils challenged to find land for self-builders

Local authorities up and down the UK have been challenged by planning minister Nick Boles to find more available land for individuals keen to get underway on self-build property projects.

At present, there are a number of local councils performing well in this area - including Bristol City Council, Cornwall, Newcastle, Teignbridge and more - but Mr Boles wishes to see a greater level of support for self-builders and therefore he is calling on more action for the delivery of sites of this nature.

Mr Boles commented: "We are determined to help families fulfil their dream of building their own home and are keen to work with the industry to showcase those councils leading the way in making specific sites available for self-build, so aspiring homeowners can turn their plans into a reality."

He added that there has never been a greater need for support for self-builders, as the ongoing housing crisis in the UK threatens to continue to artificially inflate prices across the market and stifle growth.

The plans form part of the government's efforts to emulate successful self-build programmes elsewhere in the EU, including examples of 80 per cent of homes being self-built in Austria, as well as 50 per cent in Germany, Scandinavia and Belgium.

At present, the UK self-build industry has a turnover of approximately £3.6 billion per year, but the government is keen to boost this figure further.

Last month, housing minister Mark Prisk unveiled a range of new proposals that aim to make the prospect of self-build that much less daunting for interested parties.

It includes allowing councils to accept levy payments in kind from construction firms, as well as greater transparency regarding developer charges for local authorities.

He stated: "This package of support, combined with the advice available from leading self-build organisations, will ensure those looking to build will have the information and help they could need at their fingertips." 

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