Editor’s comment – March/April

Swings and roundabouts. While we are seeing more self-build plots coming through and being built on – supported by the Right to Build Task Force – the story opposite regarding Redrow trying to pull the plug on self- and custom-builds on a York site raises wider concerns.

While the developer may be right in saying that most self-builders might not choose a large new housing estate as the ideal place to build, we do not live in an ideal world. This is shown by the fact that while it’s tough building your home, often it seems far tougher just getting to the stage of digging the foundations. This is of course in part due to the scramble to get permission on the right sites in our space-constrained country, and the associated administrative hoops to jump through.

If a developer is able to adjudicate that allocations for self-builds can lead to underdevelopment, unwanted diversification of build style, and even “anti-social behaviour,” then this bodes ill for
future similar schemes. Let’s hope that an open mind is applied here to the possibility that self- and custom-build can enhance the value of such sites, so avoiding the accusation that companies may be trying to maximise profit at any cost to the wider community.

We hope you enjoy this issue, in particular an extraordinary house we visited, on page 20. It demonstrates what you can achieve if you stick to your guns, whatever your build throws at you.