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Self-build housing

Self build or custom build is the process of designing, planning and building your own home, whether as an individual or as a group of people. 

Types of self-build and custom homes

Self build homes

Self build are defined as those where someone directly organises the design and construction of their own home. This covers a wide range of projects including a traditional DIY self-build home to projects where the self-builder employs someone to build their home for them. Self-building does not necessarily mean picking up bricks and physically getting stuck in. Most self-builders will be involved in the creative side of the process.

Custom build homes

Custom build describes a more 'hands-off' approach where you work with a developer as an individual or a group to help deliver your own home. The developer may help to find a plot, manage the construction, but your home will be tailored to match your individual requirements.

Affordable self build housing

Self build housing may be considered as affordable housing where it complies with certain criteria’s. Such criteria’s will include that affordable housing is provided by a registered housing provider, to eligible households (as determined by local incomes and house prices), with any re-sales of the property limited to at most 80% of market value.

The self build and custom house building register

We keep a register to find out what the demand is for self-build or custom build plots in the area.  We will use the information to support negotiation with developers for self-build provision on larger housing sites and to guide future policy making.

Signing up to the register does not cannot guarantee that a suitable plot will be identified or made available to you. We do not offer assistance to individual self or custom house builders to identify or secure plots.

Eligibility for joining the Register

In order to join the register you must meet the basic eligibility criteria set by Central Government and be:

  • over 18
  • 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 in the Forest of Dean District to build a house to occupy as your sole or main residence

Part 1 – People or groups of individuals who meet the local connection test

To be eligible to go on to the main part of the register (Part 1) you must also meet one of the following local connection tests:

  • have had your only, or principal home in the Forest of Dean District for a continuous period of not less than three years immediately before applying to join the register
  • have been permanently employed in the Forest of Dean for a continuous period of not less than 1 year immediately prior to applying to join the register
  • have family members (only including parent, adult child, brother or sister) who live in the Forest of Dean and have done so for a continuous period of not less than three years prior to applying to join the register
  • have previously had their only or principal home in the Forest of Dean District for a continuous period of five years

The only exception to the above will be members of the Armed Forces. Any person who is in the service of the regular armed forces of the Crown is deemed to satisfy the connection test, and anyone who has previously served in the armed forces will be deemed to satisfy the connection test for a period of 3 years after leaving service.

For associations applying to join the register each individual household in the association will need to meet the above criteria, for the association to qualify.

We may request evidence to demonstrate that you meet the criteria.

We are only required to grant sufficient planning permissions for serviced plots to meet the demand from this part of the register.

Part 2 - individuals or associations who meet the basic eligibility criteria but do not meet the local connection test

This part of the register keeps track of general demand for self-build and custom build and will inform planning policy and our overall approach to self-build and custom house building. There is no requirement for us to grant sufficient development permissions for serviced plots of land to meet this demand.

Fees to join the register

For Part 1 of the register there is a fee of £25. For associations joining each individual household will need to pay £25.

For Part 2 of the register the fee is £10. Please do not make a payment until your application has been assessed and you have been provided with a code and details of how much you have to pay.

Join the self-build register Pay to join the register

What happens to your information?

The register will provide an indication of the demand for self-build and custom house building in Forest of Dean District and will help us inform the development of planning and housing policy.

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 types of houses required.

We will not pass identifiable information from the Register onto anyone outside the Council without the written consent of the person who registered their details. If you would like to know more about how we use your personal information please read our Self Build Privacy Notice

Requests to be removed from the Register

We must remove your details from the register within 28 days of receiving a written notification to do so from either an individual or the lead contact of an association.

Further help and advice

For useful information about self build/custom build projects and what you will need to consider in deciding the right route for you visit: