Brighton & Hove asserts its right to build affordable housing

7th May 2018

Community Land Trust promotes Self-build and Custom Housebuilding register as part of National Custom and Self Build Week

The National Custom and Self Build Week 2018 runs from 7-13 May, with a series of events celebrating and promoting Custom and Self-Build homes. Brighton & Hove Community Land Trust is taking part by encouraging local people to join the local Self-build and Custom Housebuilding Register with Brighton & Hove City Council’s (BHCC). Registering is a good way of improving the chances for Brighton residents to self/custom build their own homes. Currently there are less than 100 people on the self-build register in all of Brighton & Hove – most people who want to self-build do not know the register currently exists.

People in England have the Right to Build, as set out by legislation announced in 2015 and updated in 2016. The Right to Build requires all councils to maintain a register of individual and groups of individuals who want to build their own home. It places a duty on them to grant sufficient development permissions for serviced building plots to meet demand on a rolling three-year basis. By the end of the first full year base period National Custom and Self-build Association (NaCSBA)’s research revealed that 33,000 individuals had signed up to express their interest in buying a plot.

Michael Holmes, NaCSBA’s Chair, said: “NaCSBA believes that people commissioning or building their own home will play an increasingly important role in delivering the Government’s objective to build 300,000 new homes per year.

“Custom, Self Build and community-led housing will transform how housing is delivered in the UK.”

BHCLT is a central resource for community-led housing in Brighton & Hove, including housing co-operatives, cohousing and self-build projects, developed through local people working together. Our work to support community-led housing is being supported by Brighton & Hove City Council (BHCC) through the Community Housing Fund.

Andrea Jones, Programme Manager for the Brighton & Hove Community-Led Housing Programme said, “Self-build can be a great opportunity for local groups to develop affordable and stable housing for themselves. People shouldn’t be put off if they don’t have buildings skills or are not architects. There are many people across the country who have self-built their own homes and we have our own success story here in Brighton with the Bunker Self-Build Co-op who are about to go on site.

“Anyone who is interested in self-build should register BHCC’s self-build register. It’s really easy and it doesn’t mean you have to follow through and build but we need to show that the demand is out there.”

Registration for the Brighton & Hove City Council’s (BHCC) Self-build and Custom Housebuilding Register can be done via their website at:

More information about self-build community led housing and how to join the register can be found at:

For more information and to arrange local interviews with self-builders contact Amy Hall and Ed Jones, BHCLT Communications Officers on

For information on the National Self Build Week and the National Custom and Self-build Association contact Duncan Hayes on 0771 400 4257 and

Notes for editors

  1. Brighton & Hove Community Land Trust (BHCLT) is a non-profit community-led organisation working to put housing development back in the hands of people who need it. It is one of over 280 Community Land Trusts (CLTs) in England and Wales. Find out more at:
  2. A national Community Housing Fund of £60 million has been shared between almost 150 councils to help tackle the problem of high levels of second home ownership in their communities. Brighton & Hove City Council (BHCC) was allocated £464,500 and the fund was in turn, awarded to BHCLT, which is acting as the lead partner in this programme of work, alongside Mutual Aid In Sussex (MAIS) to deliver the Community-Led Housing Programme.
  3. The National Custom and Self-build Association (NaCSBA) ( issued a Freedom of Information request to all English Local Authorities on 1 November 2017 requesting the numbers of people and groups of people on their registers. It found that 33,000 had now signed up to the registers. This was based on the data supplied by more than three quarters of the authorities who responded. The remaining results were extrapolated based on the average of the responses received.
  4. The ‘Right to Build’ places two legal obligations on Local Authorities in England:
  • Under the Self-build and Custom Housebuilding Act 2015 all Local Authorities in England must keep a register of people and groups of people who are seeking to purchase serviced plots of land in the authority’s area and to have regard to that register when carrying out their functions. Registers were required from 1st April 2016.
  • The Housing and Planning Act 2016 requires all Local Authorities in England to grant sufficient ‘development permissions’ to meet the demand for Custom and Self-build housing in their area, as established by their register, on a rolling basis. Permissions equivalent to the number of people on the register from 1 April 2016 to 31 October 2016 should be granted by 31 October 2019. Permissions equivalent to the number of people on the register from 31 October 2016 to 31 October 2017 should be granted by 31 October 2020 and so on.

5. There are a number of national Custom and Self Build Week Activities taking place. Information can be found here:

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