Planning application – Let’s go for it

floridaRichard & Betty have decided that the time is right to put in a planning application for Self Build, now more frequently called Custom Build for their proposed development at Flosh Meadows.

Copeland Borough Council in late 2012 recommended to the Government inspector that Flosh Meadows was a suitable site for a family home development. They further recommended that the site could accept a total of 36 family homes that could be built in the immediate future i.e. 0 – 5 years.

The inspector held a public meeting at the Copeland Centre in April 2013 and in his October report agreed that Flosh Meadows should be considered for a family home development for 36 homes and could be started immediately if formal approval was given by Copeland planning committee.

Richard & Betty in March 2014 have informed in person & writing Cleator Moor Town Council, St Mary’s & St Leanord’s Church and all their immediate neighbours and many more in the Cleator area that they intend to apply for planning permission to allow the site to be offered to custom build purchasers. Continue reading

Government copies Flosh Meadows Business Plan !!

Grant Shapps coalition minister forSelf Build Homes’  in June 2012 has wisely copied the business plan of the Flosh Meadows, Cleator, Self Build family homes site; he recommended that more self build plots should be sold with roads and services in the close vicinity of each plot; OOOkaaay; perhaps he also had other models to follow but at Flosh Meadows, Cleator, in the wonderful area of Copeland being immediately adjacent to the Lake District National Park that was our first procedure and if allowed by our local planners it will also be our next. We build the roads & pavements, put in electric, gas, water, telephone and drains to each plot boundary and then invite plot owners to connect up and build their family homes. The owners achieve a magnificent and affordable family home and the housing stock in our area is improved with these high quality homes.

Self Build is not for Wimps

A plethora of advice with for and against self build now being called Custom Build for family homes is now available online, especially at the excellent and comprehensive National Self Build Association web site

Flosh Meadows owners say “All prospective self builders should carry out an in-depth study of their personal wishes, ability, determination, time and finances before committing to any purchase or irrevocable action”.

A self builder cautioned me some years ago; “you spend 12 month building your perfect designed high quality home and at least 24 months re-building your marriage” so be fully aware of the difficulties before you make a life changing decision.

Building your own home can be one of the best life style choices that a family can make and it brings good financial benefits but it should be entered into only following thorough research.

It is not the intention of Richard & Betty Mulholland of Flosh Meadows who are (wonderfully modern phrase coined by a home designer) “Custom Build Facilitators” !! to try and sell you the idea of self build. We simply offer our self build, serviced plots in a wonderful part of West Cumbria with the site being within short walking distance (2 1/2 miles) of the internationally renowned Lake District National Park.

We consider the following article by the well known and financially astute people at This Is Money website is a brilliant place to start:
Continue reading

Builders ‘churning out same old boxes’

On 30 March 2014 Grand Designs presenter Kevin McCloud criticises builders who ‘churn out the same old boxes’ when it comes to new housing, as he calls for ‘better, greener and cheaper’ self-builds
Kevin McCloud: ‘Land and house prices are going to go up again. They always do in Britain – we’ve never produced enough housing’
Kevin McCloud said that if builders took more care over architecture and design local people would be more inclined to accept new developments. He said: ‘If a community doesn’t want housing what they really object to is crap housing.’
as reported on 30 March 2014 by Christopher Hope, Senior Political Correspondent at http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/greenpolitics/planning/10731464/Builders-churning-out-same-old-boxes-says-Kevin-McCloud.html Continue reading

Self-build penalties quashed February 2014

Mann John CIL Feb 2014It is quite unusual for a Government Minister to praise an opposition MP for forcing the Government to change its own law says M.P for Bassetlaw John Mann. That did happen last week however when Planning Minister Nick Boles congratulated me for my 18 month, one-man campaign to reverse excessive Government taxes on people building their own homes.

Since 2012 I have been campaigning to reverse aspects of the law in question, the Community Infrastructure Levy, a tax which has made it impossible for people to build their own homes. Cases brought to me include a soldier returning from Afghanistan; a retired miner wanting to build a bungalow on his land for a disabled son; a young recently married couple, and a widow who wishes to move into a smaller property. All will now be exempt from the new tax. Continue reading

Turn UK into a Nation of Self-Builders says Government Minister

Pickles_webThe Communities and Local Government Secretary  Eric Pickles on 15 October 2013 said he will turn the UK into a “nation of self-builders” by offering subsidies and tax breaks to people who create their own home.

The UK must become like countries including Austria, Belgium and Sweden, which “reward” people who choose to build their own property, Mr Pickles said.

He said that helping tens of thousands of people to build their own homes will stop “homogeneous, pasteurised housing” being built across the country.

People in the countryside will then be much less likely to oppose custom built housing than larger developments and estates, Mr Pickles said. Continue reading

Action Plan to promote the growth of self build housing – Second progress report

This is the second progress report prepared by the National Self Build Association (NaSBA), as a follow up to the publication of the initial joint Government-Industry report – An Action Plan to promote the growth of self build housing – in July 2011.
The last two years has seen a great deal of activity, and growing signs that all the effort is beginning to bear fruit. There are now dozens of local councils actively bringing forward policies and local initiatives to enable more self and custom build development across the country. We are also seeing considerable enthusiasm from local community groups to progress neighbourhood plans and Community Right to Build projects. Continue reading

The Ultimate Self Build Cost Guide

Every month for the past 15 years HOME BUILDING & RENOVATING MAGAZINE has published a Build Cost Table showing average construction costs for self-builders across the UK, making it easy for anyone to get an idea of how much it is likely to cost to build their own home. The table includes variables for build quality, discounts for DIY involvement as project manager or tradesperson (or labour), the economies of scale achieved with larger houses and the number of storeys, plus regional variations.

Flosh Meadows Authors note: the table shows, excluding land costs, that at July 2013 a standard to excellent specification two storey 4 bedroom detached home of 12m x 12m with an integral garage can be built for £100k to £150k or less dependent on your “sweat equity” [being the amount of control & labour you put in] additionally zoopla (nationwide house price experts) in July 2013 shows a 12 year old four bedroom house immediately adjacent to Flosh Meadows, Cleator at an offer price of £299,950.00). Continue reading

New model for self-build set up by Parliament

Strict planning laws, expensive land and a lack of lending all impede the Government’s aim of growing the UK self-build sector from 100,000 to 200,000 over 10 years. But measures  such as Help to Build MIG could soon ease this problem reports Mortgage Strategy on 10 July 2013.

In a fresh push last month MPs, lenders and policy makers set up an all party parliamentary group on self-build.

The idea is to raise awareness of the issue in parliament and create a forum for lawmakers to implement changes that could boost self-builders. Continue reading

MPs to consider if Mortgage Indemnity Guarantee could extend to self-builders

A group of MPs will explore whether it is possible to include self-build projects in the Government’s Help to Buy mortgage indemnity guarantee scheme as part of efforts to make the sector more accessible.

An all-party parliamentary group for self-build has been set up to explore how to boost the number of self-build projects in the UK from 100,000 to 200,000 within the next decade. Continue reading

UK govt to make self build homes exempt from infrastructure levy

Proposed changes in the UK could save self builders thousands of pounds by ensuring they are exempt from paying a levy charge that must be paid for all new buildings over a certain size. Reported in excellent article by propertywire.com on Tuesday, 16 April 2013. The government says it is committed to helping more people achieve their aspirations of owning a home and wants to help boost housing supply by making self build housing a mainstream option. Continue reading

Self-build homes are ‘shape of district’s future’

TEIGNBRIDGE has a bright future, according to Teignbridge District Council leader Jeremy Christophers in his 2013 new year message.

With the local plan under way, he says Teignbridge’s future in 20 years’ time is being shaped right now.  Young working families can get on the housing ladder with self-build, says Cllr Christophers. He is passionate about promoting self-build homes to overcome housing issues in South Devon.

He says: “We want to support young working families. Self-build does that, it gives them a chance to get on the housing ladder.
Cllr Christophers said: “The fact is we can’t go on without a local plan as it leaves too much of the countryside at risk of development.

“We’ll get people interested in self-build together with people who can show them how to move forward. Banks are also now ready to lend to self-builders.” Continue reading

What happened to Britain’s self-build revolution?

What happened to Britain’s self-build revolution?

It was heralded as one of the government’s answers to the housing crisis, but the self-build revolution is still to take off in Britain. Why is the idea proving so unpopular?

Light-touch regulation of self-build could boost popularity, but are councils prepared relax their planning rules?

Building your own home is seen as something of a niche activity, but the government is very keen for that to change. Faced with a dearth of activity across much of the mass housebuilding sector, housing minister Mark Prisk has urged councils to help bring about the “self-build revolution” heralded by his predecessor Grant Shapps. Continue reading

New Homes Bonus scheme adds up to £660m for councils

England’s 353 councils are set to share a cash payout of £661m over the next year, after delivering 142,000 new homes, including self Build and affordable properties.

This funding under the New Homes Bonus scheme will also reward councils for bringing 13,000 long-term empty properties back into use.

This latest allocation, to be paid in the 2013 to 2014 financial year, means councils will have received £1.3bn through the scheme since its launch in April 2011. Continue reading

Self building guide published-November 2012

New guidance has been published by the National Self Build Association (NaSBA) which provides advice on how planners and custom-build developers can make it easier for people to build their own homes. The guide explains how new Government policy included in the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) encouraging self-build can be applied locally.
These include:
encouraging larger scale, self-build communities – like those that are already underway in Continental Europe – using public land to proactively facilitate self build projects – setting a target for a certain proportion of new homes to be self-builds when allocating sites or planning for new homes – treating modest low-cost self builds as ‘affordable’ housing – specifically encouraging self-builds in certain areas – for example on ‘infill’ sites, OR AS SMALL- SCALE EXTENSIONS ON THE EDGE OF TOWNS OR VILLAGES. Continue reading

Self-builders keen to spread the word

Which of us hasn’t fantasised about a new house, exactly as we want it? You know the sort of thing: swimming pool in the garden, ‘his and hers bathrooms’, or even a home cinema. Well, such dreams may not be as far-fetched as you think, because around 15,000 people a year are now building their own homes. Most buy a plot of land, then hire architects and builders to do all the physical work for them.

By avoiding the large profit margins of developers, they can save tens of thousands of pounds AND have a home designed solely for them. Continue reading

Housing minister calls for more self-build mortgages

Housing minister calls for more self-build mortgages

Speaking at a conference organised by the Council of Mortgage Lenders, Housing Minister Mark Prisk encouraged lenders to make it easier for people to build their own homes.

The self-build market in the UK has been hampered by limited availability of land and red tape, as well as a lack of self-build mortgages. Continue reading

UK govt puts £30 million into self build

On Tuesday, 16 October 2012 UK Housing Minister Mark Prisk announced that the first applications for a slice of a new £30 million self build investment fund have been earmarked for approval. Speaking at a special self build workshop for local authority leaders in London, Prisk said that the first projects would benefit from over £1.1million to start work on up to 20 self build plots. Continue reading

Eventually!! at least one council is seeing the way forward

07 September 2012: Plymouth Council appeals to self builders;    The council has directly appealed to people who have perhaps found themselves locked out of the housing market by high prices and tough borrowing conditions, and believes that self build projects could hold the key to solving the current crisis. Plymouth City Council is calling for would-be self builders to get in touch and help tackle the area’s housing shortage. Continue reading

Self-Build – A solution to housing shortage.

An excellent and comprehensive article on self build was written on August 16, 2012 by “Plainview planning consultants”. This is required reading for prospective self builders, local authority planners and their regeneration managers. Self build will eventually be accepted by UK planners as a major source of high specification, low carbon affordable homes with beneficial employment within the building trade and suppliers. Continue reading

RICS to stimulate lending on self build homes

RICS has today (27 June 2012) published guidance which aims to increase lending on new and self build houses by encouraging greater confidence in valuations. The guidance has been updated to arm surveyors with the information they need to provide valuations for new and self build properties following market feedback, which revealed a growing trend in surveyors valuing new builds differently to older homes. Continue reading

Sustainability: Self Builders versus Major Developers

Undoubtedly, the emerging demand for sustainability in the housing sector is evidence of the fact that home buyers are becoming more environmentally and economically aware. Self-building attracts sustainability and when incorporated in the design of houses can lead to a significant reduction in life-time operation costs, while minimising the environmental impact of the housing sector: Continue reading

Government encourages self-builders

New help for self home builders launched at most famous address in the country (Published 19 April 2012)

A package of new support to give as many people as possible the opportunity to build their own homes was announced today at England’s most famous address by Housing Minister Grant Shapps. It comes as a new report predicts a 141 per cent rise in the mortgages available for those building their own homes over the next three years. Continue reading

Requisitioning a public sewer – kicking up a stink?

Requisitioning a public sewer – kicking up a stink? (article supplied & owned by HartBrown Solicitors)

If the route of a foul sewer for a proposed development will need to pass over land owned by a third party then the developer will of course need to approach those owners to see if they would be willing to grant the necessary rights.  However, if they are not prepared to co-operate, then the developer may have no alternative but to requisition the sewerage undertaker to provide a public sewer for the development. Continue reading

Code for Sustainable Homes

The Code for Sustainable Homes  is an environmental assessment method for rating and certifying the performance of new homes. It is a national standard for use in the design and construction of new homes with a view to encouraging continuous improvement in sustainable home building. It was launched in December 2006 with the publication of Code for Sustainable Homes: A step-change in sustainable home building practice (Communities and Local Government, 2006) and became operational in April 2007. Where Building Regulations apply, compliance is necessary at all times. Continue reading

Government on Self Build 2011

Housing Minister Grant Shapps talks about custom (self) building at Grand Designs Live 31 May 2011

This is the first time I’ve been to Grand Designs – it’s impressive. I should have expected nothing less as Kevin McCloud is involved. My very first visit as Housing Minister was to Kevin’s west country development where they were pushing the boundaries of design and eco-building. And we’ve all seen ‘Grand Designs’ on the TV. Self-build schemes that are almost always startling in scale and ambition. Continue reading

Flosh Meadows – Reasons to Develop

The existing Flosh Meadows self build community at Cleator, Cumbria consists of five high quality detached family homes built in 2001. It is pleasing and supportive to the community and locality that in 2014 four of the original five self build families still live in the homes they built. The land owners & developers Betty & Richard Mulholland who live adjacent  have applied within the  Copeland Borough Council Local Development Plan to be permitted to further develop the community. Continue reading