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Self-build and custom housebuilding

The Council has set up a register for people who are interested in a self-build or custom-build home in Richmond upon Thames.

About the register

In accordance with the duties of the Self-build and Custom Housebuilding Act 2015 and the Self-build and Custom Housebuilding (Register) Regulations 2016, the Council has set up a register for people who are interested in a self-build or custom-build home in the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames.

On 1 April 2016 the statutory duty under the 2015 Act to keep a register and to have regard to it came into force. Further guidance is available on the Government’s Planning Practice Guidance portal.


To be eligible to enter on the register you must be:

  • Aged 18 or older;
  • A British citizen, a national of a EEA State other than the United Kingdom, or a national of Switzerland; and
  • Seeking (either alone or with others) to acquire a serviced plot of land in the relevant authority’s area to build a house to occupy as that individual’s sole or main residence.

What we use the register for

This register will form part of the Council's evidence base and help us understand the level of demand for self-build and custom-build houses, which will assist in the preparation and implementation of planning policies.

It will inform the Council’s planning, housing, land disposal and regeneration functions.

Please note that entry on the register will not guarantee that a suitable plot will be identified or come available. Subsequent applications for self-build and custom-build projects will require planning permission and will be assessed on their merits in line with the Council’s Local Plan policies and guidance.

Exemption from the duty to permit

So far, there have been eight base periods:

  • Base period 1: April 2016 to 30 October 2016
  • Base period 2: 31 October 2016 to 30 October 2017
  • Base period 3: 31 October 2017 to 30 October 2018
  • Base period 4: 31 October 2018 to 30 October 2019
  • Base period 5: 31 October 2019 to 30 October 2020
  • Base period 6: 31 October 2020 to 30 October 2021
  • Base period 7: 31 October 2021 to 30 October 2022
  • Base period 8: 31 October 2022 to 30 October 2023

The Council has been granted an exemption by Government from the duty to permit enough serviced plots of land to meet the demand for self-build and custom housebuilding. The reason for this is the demand for self-build and custom housebuilding is greater than 20% of the land identified by the Council as being available for future housing. We re-run the calculation each year to see if the threshold is still exceeded and if so, the exemption remains.

The Council is exempt from the duty to permit for base periods 1 to 8.

What this means is that the Council is still required to maintain a register of interest in self/custom build and needs to have regard to the register when undertaking planning, housing, disposal of land and regeneration functions.

The Mayor of London set up the Community Led Housing hub to support Londoners and community groups who want to build their own homes. This is to provide information (online, first point of contact), capacity building for communities and connected sectors, technical support for projects, and partnership brokering with funders, lenders etc.

Other information

  • The Authority’s Monitoring Reports on Housing sets out annually details regarding future housing land supply, identifying sites with planning permission.
  • The Mayor of London's Community Housing Hub is to support Londoners and community groups who want to build their own homes including for example on advice and feasibility and links to other resources.
  • The Self Build Portal is the Government endorsed advisory website for self-builders and custom-builders

Add your details to the Local Self-Build Register

Updated: 30 April 2024

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