Monday, 9 July 2012 10:03 AM
Housing minister Grant Shapps has given the green light for the first large-scale self build communities in England.
He named seven sites across the country where sites will be set aside specifically for groups of people looking to work together to build their own homes. The hope is that these sites plus more being identified by local authorities will create hundreds of new self-build opportunities.
The first large-scale pilot will be at Trevenson Park in Pool, Cornwall, where 60 homes could be built on surplus public sector land.
The other six sites will be at Kingsweir and Torpoint, Bristol; Spencers Park, Hemel Hempstead; Pleasley Colliery, Bolsover; Upper Tuesley Milford, Surrey; Wilson Road, Hanford, Stoke-on-Trent; and Chase Avenue, Walton Park, Milton Keynes.
The move follows a mission led by the minister to Almere in the Netherlands, a new city where extensive land is set aside for self build.
Shapps praised the work of Cherwell District Council in Oxfordshire, which he said was following Almere’s lead by offering specific sites to local people looking to build their own home.
He also published details of a £30 million investment fund to offer loans to fund laying of foundations for self-build projects. The cash will be available to pay for up to 75 per cent of a project’s early construction costs and will be available to organisations planning to build five or more homes at a total cost of up to £3 million.
Grant Shapps said: “This first-ever package of self-build support will help to achieve our goal to double the size of the industry over the next few years, but I want us to go further still. The new national planning rules require councils to consider the needs of self-builders in their area, and I would urge authorities across the country to look to Cherwell and the innovative work there as an exciting example of how this can be achieved."
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