What is self-build and custom housebuilding?
The terms ‘self-build’ and ‘custom build’ are used to describe situations where individuals or groups are involved in creating their own home. The amount of personal involvement will vary. Self-build projects are where an individual directly organises and commissions the design and construction of their new home. Custom build homes are where a developer co-ordinates the whole process for the person/people involved.
What is self-build housing?
Self-build - where you organise and design the construction of your own home. You then need to choose how, listed below are some of the options available to you:
- self-build one-off home: you manage the design and construction process and are physically involved in part or all of the construction of your home
- contractor built one-off home: you manage the design process and appoint a contractor to build the home to your specification
- kit home: you select your preferred kit home and possibly establish the foundations. The kit home company then erects the home
- independent community collaboration: you work with others to acquire a site to split into plots then organize the design and construction of your own home
- supported community self-build group: a social landlord or the Community Self -build Agency helps you build a group of homes together. More information about this can be found on their website
Custom build – where you work with a specialist developer to deliver your own home. There are also different options available with this method as follows:
- developer built one-off home: a developer builds a single home that the self builder completes
- developer-led group project: a developer will organise a group and builds the homes that the self builder completes
Self-build and custom housebuilding register
Please complete our online form to let us know if you are considering a self-build or custom build project, either as an individual or as part of a group.
The Worcester City Council Self-build and Custom Housebuilding Register is split into two parts. To be eligible to go on the main part of the register (PART 1) you must be:
- aged 18 or over
- a British citizen, a national of an EEA state other than the United Kingdom or a national of Switzerland
- seeking (either alone or with others) to acquire a serviced plot of land for your own self-build or custom housebuilding.
- a resident in the Worcester City Council administrative area for at least the last 3 years (or be in the service of the regular armed forces of the crown, or were in the service within the last 3 years) or have worked in the Worcester City administrative area for the last 3 years. Please note that you will be asked to provide evidence that you meet these criteria.
If you meet all of the requirements apart from criteria 4, you can still be entered on PART 2 of the register.
For PART 2, the Council does not have to meet certain requirements under the Act (section 2A(6)) relating to the number of planning permissions given for serviced plots.
Please note that by signing up to the register, we cannot guarantee that a plot that meets your specifications will be available.
Self-build and Custom Housebuilding Progress Report
The Self-build and Custom Housebuilding Act 2015 (c 17) (“the Act”) requires Worcester City Council to keep a register of individuals and associations of individuals who are seeking to acquire serviced plots of land in the administrative boundary of Worcester and, unless exempt, to grant sufficient development permissions to meet the demand for self-build and custom housebuilding. Progress reports are produced on an annual basis and can be viewed via the links below.
- pdf 2023 Worcester Self-build and Custom Housebuilding annual progress report (435 KB)
- pdf 2022 Worcester Self-build and Custom Housebuilding annual progress report (308 KB)
- pdf 2021 Worcester Self-build and Custom Housebuilding annual progress report (301 KB)
- pdf 2020 Worcester Self-build and Custom Housebuilding annual progress report (338 KB)
- pdf 2019 Worcester Self-build and Custom Housebuilding annual progress report (466 KB)
- pdf 2018 Worcester Self-build and Custom Housebuilding annual progress report (483 KB)
- pdf 2017 Worcester Self-build and Custom Housebuilding annual progress report (362 KB)
Determining applications for entry on the register
We have 28 days to confirm in writing whether the application is eligible for entry in the register and to make the entry on to the register. Where we believe the applicant is not eligible for entry in the register we must notify the applicant and give reasons.
Notification must be sent to
- the individual or
- In the case of an association, the lead contact or such other person as the authority considers to be acting on behalf of the association.
Requests to be removed from the register
We must remove your details from the register within 28 days of receiving a written request to do so from either an individual or the lead contact of an organisation.
Worcester City Council may remove an entry from the register if the authority considers that the individual (or in the case of an association, any member of the association) is no longer eligible for entry in the register; and, within 28 days of the decision, will notify the registered individual or the lead contact for an organisation giving reasons.
What happens to your information?
This Register will provide an indication of the demand for self-build and custom house building in Worcester City and will help us inform the development of planning/housing policy.
At this stage, you are not making any commitment – we are just trying to find out how much local demand there is for self-build housing and custom-build housing.
The register will not be a public document, but headline information will be published annually in monitoring reports, for example, the number of plots and type of houses required.
From time to time we receive information relating to self-build schemes and products which might be of interest to those on our register; this will also be passed on by e-mail where appropriate.
We will not pass identifiable information from the Register onto anyone outside the Council without your written consent.
National policy on self-build and custom housebuilding
The Self-build and Custom Housebuilding Act came into force in March 2015 which was amended by the Housing and Planning Act 2016 (c22).
The Regulations (Statutory Instrument 2016 No. 105 now superseded) and Planning Practice Guidance came into force on 1st April 2016 outlining how councils should meet the requirements of the Act.
New Regulations came into force on 31 October 2016, namely:-
- The Self-build and Custom Housebuilding Regulations 2016 (Statutory Instrument 2016 No. 950)
- The Self-build and Custom Housebuilding (Time for Compliance and Fees) Regulations 2016 (Statutory Instrument 2016 No. 1027)
Please refer to the Self-Build Portal for further information on self-build and custom housebuilding.
If you are interested in group or community self build please go to the Community Self-build Agency website.