Do I need an Enabling Developer?
Grant Shapps, the Housing Minister, recently announced a £30 million Custom Build Investment Fund that should give the self-build market a boost.
This fund offers short-term loans to those looking to undertake self-build projects and is geared to helping early stage costs such as land purchase and service provision. To apply you have to be “an appropriately constituted body” and the scheme has to be for 5 units or more.
This is leading to the arrival into the market of the Enabling Developer.
This is an entity that will secure the plot, get the services to it and then offer it on to a self-builder to either build a customized house or a fully self-designed one. The idea is to take some of the risk out of the process especially with a view to making it more attractive to mortgage funders when it comes to building the rest of the plot.
The Dutch are well ahead of us – the City of Almere has already has 1,000 self-build homes and eventually has plans for 3,000. The rules on the Dutch scheme are quite relaxed; there is a framework that you have to work within.
It remains to be seen how relaxed the UK planners will be as it will demand a pretty radical rethink to agree to plot being developed without the end design being agreed.
CL’s view is that the Enabling Developer is a very useful way to get your hands on a serviced plot that you are then free to do with what you want.
Companies such as Urban Self Build are definitely making it easier for people to realise the dream of building their own house. But it is not the only solution.
You must remember that call of “Location! Location! Location!” and make sure that the serviced plot is where you want to live. You will also need to get funding and you may still need help putting the superstructure onto your serviced plot .
BTW: We quote for free.