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About Self-build and Custom Build Housing

If you are considering building your own home, then please register your interest with us. Your registration provides the Council with an understanding of the demand for self-build and custom build plots across the district and enables us to support your needs through planning policy.

To register your interest in building your own home in West Berkshire, please complete the online form.

You can register as an Individual or an Association.

We'll inform you whether your application has been successful within 28 days from the day we receive it. If you're unsuccessful you will be told the reason(s) for this. Registration does not guarantee that a suitable plot will be identified or become available.

We won't pass identifiable information from the register onto anyone without your consent.



 What is self-build and custom build housing?

Self- and custom build are defined as:

  • self-build: projects where individuals or groups directly organise the design and construction of their new home(s)
  • custom build: projects where individuals or groups work with a specialist developer to help deliver their new home(s)

You can find more information on the Self Build Portal.

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 What is the Self-build and Custom Build Register?

The Self Build and Custom House Building Act 2015 establishes a legal duty on local councils in England to register the level of interest for people wanting a 'serviced plot' of land on which to build or commission their own home in the area. A serviced plot must have connections for electricity, water and waste water, and access to a public highway.

Self-build and Custom Build Registers list those persons and organisations who are seeking to bring forward a self and customised house building project.

The purpose of Registers is to help local authorities, like West Berkshire Council, establish the demand for self and custom build and subsequently develop housing and planning policies to address this. In its role as planning authority, West Berkshire Council can seek to allocate land for self- and custom build housing through the plan-making process.

It should be noted that the Self Build and Custom House Building Act 2015 does not require local planning authorities to provide serviced plots of land for self-build or to allocate land for this purpose.

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 Who can apply?

Each individual applicant and every member of an association that applies for entry on the register must be:

  • aged 18 or older
  • a British Citizen, a national of an European Economic Area (EEA) State other than the United Kingdom, or a national of Switzerland
  • seeking (either alone or with others) to acquire a serviced plot of land in the authority's area to build a house to occupy as that individual's sole or main residence.

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 How can I apply?

If you would like to register your interest, then you can apply using the online form

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 Will I be charged a fee?

No. West Berkshire Council does not currently charge a fee to those that apply to be entered on the Register.

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 Does being included on the Register guarantee a plot?

No. The Self Build and Custom House Building Act 2015 only established a legal duty on local councils in England to register their level of interest for self-build and custom build homes. The Act does not require local planning authorities to provide serviced plots of land for self-build or to allocate land for this purpose.

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 Where can I find a suitable plot?

There is no statutory obligation for the Council to provide suitable plots for those people/organisations on the Self-Build and Custom Build  Register. Those seeking to complete their own housebuilding project must source their own suitable plot of land. This could be done through searching estate and land agents marketing or online through dedicated self-build websites.

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 Will I need planning permission to build my own home?

Yes. Any proposals for new dwellings, inclusive of self-build or custom build projects, will require full planning permission unless it involves a change of use that is permitted under the The Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015 (as amended) and in such cases, this would normally require the prior approval of the local planning authority. The proposed development would be assessed against the Development Plan for West Berkshire, as well as other material considerations.

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 Will the Council give me planning permission if I am on the Register?

No. As discussed above, registering on the Self-Build and Custom House Build Register does not mean that planning permission will be automatically granted for such projects and each proposal will be assessed on its own planning merits.

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 Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) exemptions

There are certain exemptions from CIL for self build and custom build projects.

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