MP Nick Boles calls on councils to earmark land for self-built homes

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Planning Minister Nick Boles has encouraged councils across the country to earmark land for people to build their own Grand Design.

Stamford and Bourne MP Mr Boles (Con), who was made planning minister in a Government reshuffle in September last year, challenged councils to step up and help boost house building by finding land for local people to build their dream home in a speech on Tuesday.

Speaking at Grand Designs Live during National Self Build Week, Mr Boles said he was determined to help families who aspire to build their own dream homes.

Mr Boles said: “We urgently need to build more homes and now is the time for councils to act and earmark areas that encourage people to buy a plot of land and get a builder to build them a home.

“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 praised councils such as Bristol City Council, who have already taken steps to identify suitable pieces of land for self-builders in the city.

The Government is already making it easier for people to build their own home by making self-builders exempt from paying thousands of pounds on a levy charge that must be paid for all new buildings over a certain size.

The UK has the lowest level of self-built homes in Europe.

Housing Minister Mark Prisk (Con) said: “We’re determined to ensure anyone who wants to build their own home to have the opportunity to do so, which is why we’ve made £44m available to help get their self-build projects off the ground, and why our proposed changes to the Community Infrastructure Levy will exempt self-builders, potentially saving them thousands of pounds.”

Last year Mr Boles said the area of developed land in England should be increased by a third solving the country’s housing crisis.

He proposed that developers should be able to build on another two to three per cent of land and he called for “beautiful” housing to be built which was sensitive to its local area, giving Stamford as an example of attractive housing.