Hello and welcome to your first Selfbuilder + Homemaker of 2018, I hope this issue finds you well and that your self-build project is progressing smoothly after what has no doubt been a patchy few weeks, weather-wise!
It’s good to hear the National Custom & Self Build Association received some positive data for once on the progress of Right to Build from England’s councils, following its ‘Freedom of Information’ request last year on how many people have signed up.
Yes, 33,000 people is a big number, but it’s still only the population of Glossop, a relatively small place just outside Manchester if you’re not familiar. This select band of people cannot truly represent the scale of demand for self-build out there, so it would be a mistake for councils to assume that’s all they need to provide sites for. It’s true to say they might be the more affluent ‘early adopters,’ however.
Currently, even finding sites for those 33,000 will prove challenging. In order to capitalise on this situation and provide at least the 20,000 homes the Government is aiming for, councils need to up their game and at least embrace the opportunity. The Right to Build’s Task Force’s Mario Wolf admitted recently that they needed to do much more to increase “willingness to support custom- build”. Let’s see some action.