Monday 16 September 2013

Self-build: part two

Following on from an earlier posting
Futures Forum: Self-build
the 'self-build revolution' promised by the government last year
Kevin McCloud to support the self-build surge - Announcements - GOV.UK
seems to be hotting up.
Later on this month, Kevin McCloud will attempt his own 'self-build':

Kevin McCloud's Man Made Home

Series 1 Episode 1
FIRST BROADCAST: 8pm Sun 23 September 2012

Kevin starts work on his hand made home by venturing into the bowels of London. With mains electricity and gas not an option for his bolt hole, Kevin hopes to make biodiesel for a lamp from the huge stinking 'fatbergs' that clog up the city's sewers.
For the cabin's structure, Kevin cuts down two ancient oaks, and starts putting together the wooden shell of the building.
He also experiments with a Wild West technique of splitting logs by gunpowder, and tries to make the whole cabin mobile because of planning regulations.
Kevin McCloud wants to buy himself a beautiful piece of woodland, roll up his sleeves and build a cabin in the woods. He has decided that everything has to be made by hand from his woodland, and if it not, then it has to be sourced from somebody else's rubbish.
Together with a hardy band of friends and experts, Kevin is going to reuse, repurpose and recycle almost all the materials for his bold building in rural Somerset. A place where he can unhook himself from the madness of modern life and live in a different way.
Can a simple, more creative life make you happier?

Kevin McCloud's Man Made Home - 4oD - Channel 4

In fact, Channel Four offers a lot of useful advice to the budding self-builder:
Self Build Advice: Find A Plot Of Land, Build A House & More - Channel4 - 4Homes
including how to get finance:

All you need to know about self build mortgages if you're planning to build your own home.

Why Build Your Own Home?

Despite the recession, an estimated 14,000 people completed a self-build home last year - a third of all new build detached properties and almost 7,000 more people bought a self-build plot, according to self-build expert, BuildStore. And with good reason – you get a property designed entirely around your needs in your chosen area, and in many cases, you can save up to a third of the price of a ready-built property.

Although the credit crunch restricted the availability of self-build mortgages, funding is still available for those wanting to build a home, and the weaker economy has seen plot prices tumble, so it’s still an good time to be a self builder.

How Much Can You Borrow?

The good news is if you can afford to buy a house, it’s likely a lender will agree a self build mortgage. How much you can afford to splash out on your new home will be restricted by the amount of money you can borrow, but it is possible to run a self-build mortgage along side your existing mortgage if you’d rather not sell your current home.

Self build lenders use the same income multiples as for traditional mortgages, so you can typically borrow up to 3.5 times a couple’s joint income or 4.5 times a single borrower’s income – although your ability to afford the mortgage is the key here.

Applying For A Self Build Mortgage

But getting a self build mortgage is more complicated and involves more paperwork than a traditional mortgage.

‘A lender will want to see the plans for the property and the projected building cost,’ says Louise Cummings, head of mortgages at MoneySupermarket(opens in a new window).

You’ll also need to have the appropriate planning permissions in place. ‘At the very least, you’ll need outline planning permission but most lenders will expect you to have full planning consent. This shows to the lender that the plans have been submitted and agreed by the local planning authority for the building of a specific size and type of house,’ says Cummings.

Self Build Mortgages: A Guide - Channel4 - 4Homes

And BBC Two will be promising the impossible:
A young pizza van owner from Leeds has an ambitious plan to build a four-bedroom house.
BBC Two - The House That £100k Built - Episode guide 

Cherwell District Council in north Oxfordshire is planning the largest self-build project in the UK:
Cherwell District Council - Build! project
Cherwell District CouncilCherwell District Council

Bicester Advertiser: Civic bid for DIY building

31 JANUARY 2013
A Council is in talks to take over surplus MoD land and create the country’s biggest self-build project.
Cherwell District Council officials are expected to meet with Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and a housing minister within weeks to thrash out a deal, according to Bicester’s MP Sir Tony Baldry.
The move comes more than a year after Defence Estates, the property arm of the MoD, submitted plans to redevelop surplus land at Graven Hill for housing.
Plans have yet to be discussed by councillors.
Cherwell council wants to take on land at Graven Hill and lead housing development there.
Sir Tony said the council’s proposal was linked to Bicester achieving Garden City status, which would give the council access to a pot of Government funding of £225m.
Bicester Advertiser: Civic bid for DIY building | Tony Baldry MP
Self-build homes scheme 'fabulous' (From Bicester Advertiser)

Meanwhile, East Devon District Council is proposing thousands of new homes be built under its draft Local Plan, still out to consultation. 
East Devon District Council - Planning Policy (inc LDF & Local Plan)
East Devon District Council - Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment
How many of these proposed homes could be self-build?

The concluding comments from District Council housing officers in an earlier blog entry is from December last year:
The demand for self build homes appears to exist but remains a difficult method of housing to advance. This is due to a number of factors , funding (many mortgage company’s appear to be reluctant to lend on favourable terms.) The lack of appetite from our Housing Association partners compounded by the lack of suitable land has made this type of housing difficult to develop. This type of housing ownership isn’t where the greatest need lies, this has been identified as rented. So as a consequence most housing providers focus on this need. Perhaps self build may be more popular in East Devon once the economy improves and lenders are less risk adverse. 
Futures Forum: East Devon and affordable housing: November 2012

And perhaps things have moved on since then...
Recognising the demands in the National Planning Policy Framework for sustainable development, as well as the 'self-build revolution' from central government, the District Council's Local Plan comments:

The Local Plan includes a range of policies that seek to widen the choice of housing. However these do not explicitly include self build/self-commissioned new homes (this is an 
initiative currently being promoted by Government).
It is proposed that a new policy/commentary is addressed to the plan that promotes self-build schemes. .

In South Devon, Teignbridge District Council is proving very pro-active:
Self Build

Teignbridge self-build 'demo home' gets an additional £20,000 loan

Saturday, December 29, 2012

TEIGNBRIDGE council is backing a new scheme to help residents build their own affordable home.
It is supporting proposals by the Land Society to build a demonstration home which will showcase eco-build properties and training packages as part of an initiative to help families and communities get on the housing ladder.
  1. BACKING:   Teignbridge District Council Leader Cllr Jeremy Christophers with Erica Lewis and Don Lang, from The Land Society
    BACKING: Teignbridge District Council Leader Cllr Jeremy Christophers with Erica Lewis and Don Lang, from The Land Society
Teignbridge is putting a £20,000 loan towards the costs of creating the demo home which will be built at South Devon College.
The eco-house will act as a beacon for self-build, helping people learn more about how they can be in charge of their own developments.
See also: Futures Forum: Eco-housing ten years on

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