English and Dutch share best practice on self-build homes


A UK self-build task force has visited the Netherlands to share knowledge and observe some of its innovative custom and self-build models.

The Right to Build Task Force, a National Custom and Self Build Association initiative, is helping community groups and other organisations deliver affordable custom and self-build housing projects in the UK.English and Dutch share best practice on self-build homes

In the Netherlands, schools and offices are often refurbished as homes, bringing unused buildings back into use and creating additional affordable homes. Self-build housing constitutes approximately 20% of all privately-owned new homes under construction in the Netherlands, compared to 7% in England.

The projects visited by the task force included a high-density serviced-plots site in the city, a regeneration project that included custom and self-build plots in Delft and an innovative self-refurbishment model of custom build in Amsterdam.

The concept of self-refurbishment as a route to home ownership was of particular interest to the task force, as it could support its work with English local authorities that have existing housing stock to regenerate, with custom and self-build being a viable route.

At a custom build conference in Amsterdam, leaders from the task force shared their experience of Right to Build legislation in England. Right to Build, part of the Self and Custom Build Housing Act 2015, requires local authorities to ensure there is adequate land provision for those who want to build their own home.

All local authorities in England must now keep a register of people and groups of people who are seeking to purchase serviced plots of land in the authority’s area. More than 33,000 people have signed up to the registers.

For more information about Right to Build and to sign up to your local Right to Build register, visit: https://www.righttobuildportal.org 

image credit: Wiebe Kiestra