Self-build housing in North Devon and Torridge

We are working with Torridge District Council to find out how much interest there is in self-build housing across northern Devon.

To do this we are required to maintain a register of individuals and groups of individuals who want to build or have their own home built.  In addition to this we are inviting landowners and communities to identify sites within or adjoining towns, villages and rural settlements, which may be suitable for self-build housing.

In the future, the register may be used to try and match those with an interest in starting a self-build project with landowners who might have suitable plots of land available for housing.

Any proposal for self-build housing will need a formal planning application and will be subject to the relevant policies set out within the development plan for the area.

Additional information on self-build homes is available through the Self-Build Portal which provides encouragement and advice to people who want to build their own home.

What is self-build housing?

Self-build - where you organise and design the construction of your own home. You then need to choose how, listed below are some of the options available to you:

  • self-build one-off home: you manage the design and construction process and are physically involved in part or all of the construction of your home
  • contractor built one-off home: you manage the design process and appoint a contractor to build the home to your specification
  • kit home: you select your preferred kit home and possibly establish the foundations. The kit home company then erects the home
  • independent community collaboration: you work with others to acquire a site to split into plots then organize the design and construction of your own home
  • supported community self-build group: a social landlord or the Community Self Build Agency helps you build a group of homes together. More information about this can be found on their website

Custom build – where you work with a specialist developer to deliver your own home. There are also different options available with this method as follows:

  • developer built one-off home: a developer builds a single home that the self builder completes
  • developer led group project: a developer will organise a group and builds the homes that the self builder completes

The Statutory Self Build and Custom Housebuilding Register

The Self Build and Custom Housebuilding Act 2015 requires relevant authorities, including District Councils, to keep a register of individuals and associations of individuals who are seeking to acquire serviced plots of land for self-build and custom housebuilding. The definition and operation of the register is prescribed by The Self-build and Custom Housebuilding (Register) Regulations 2016.  The Act requires that prescribed authorities must have regard to each register that relates to its area when carrying out its functions in relation to planning, housing, the disposal of any land of the authority and regeneration.

How to Apply for Entry in the Register

To register you need to meet the following eligibility criteria:

  1. you must be aged over 18;
  2. you must be a British citizen, a national of an EEA State other than the United Kingdom, or a national of Switzerland; and
  3. you must want to acquire a serviced plot of land to build a house to occupy as you sole or main home

Once we have received your completed form we will:  

  1. determine your application within 28 days of receiving it;
  2. if the application is eligible, we will make an entry on the register and let you know that this has been done in writing within 28 days of determining the application. If the application is from an association, we will only notify the lead contact as identified in the application; and
  3. if the application is not eligible we will write to you to explain the reasons within 28 days of determining the application. If the application is from an association, we will only notify the lead contact as identified in the application

Applications for entry onto the register:

  • must be made in writing;
  • may be made as an individual or an association; and
  • provide specific information prescribed by regulations

Any person with an entry on the Register may seek its removal or amendment by submitting a request in writing to the Councils.

Applications for entry on the register can be submitted by completing and returning a form that seeks to obtain the minimum prescribed information whilst providing the opportunity to offer additional optional information that may be helpful in assessing your potential requirements. It is the minimum prescribed information that will be recorded on the Register. Copies of the necessary forms may be downloaded below (including versions for Email and Print).

Apply as an Individual Household

Apply as an Association

Register of Land

If you are a landowner who is interested in promoting a site for self-build housing you can sign up to the self-build register of land. You can submit details of land in the following ways:

Online:

By Email / Post

In terms of promoting sites for self-build housing it is worth noting that not all sites are likely to be considered acceptable for development. Those which are unlikely to be appropriate include:

  • sites not in a recognised settlement;
  • sites in the countryside that could be considered isolated or sporadic;
  • sites which would adversely affect the landscape, local history or rural character; or
  • because they are in an elevated, exposed or other prominent position

You should send your completed registration and application form(s):

  • by email to localplan@northdevon.gov.uk  / localplan@torridge.gov.uk
  • by post or in person to:
    • Planning Policy Team, Torridge District Council, Riverbank House, Bideford, EX39 2QG
    • Planning Policy Team, North Devon Council, Lynton House, Commercial Road, Barnstaple, EX31 1DG

Alternatively, registration forms for completion by hand or suitable for return by email may be downloaded by following the links above.

Paper versions of the forms are also available at the following council offices:

  • Lynton House, , Commercial Road,  Barnstaple, EX31 1DG
  • The Amory Centre, 125 East Street, South Molton, EX36 3BU
  • The Ilfracombe Centre, 44 High Street, Ilfracombe
  • Riverbank House, Bideford, EX39 2QG