House sales boost thanks to big garden

On 29 April 2022 Cumbria local  evening paper article (places with larger gardens doing well for sales) report a national study showing that houses with larger gardens attract a considerable higher selling price.

At Flosh Meadows self build site ( most plots have larger gardens than other sites and housing developments.

UPDATE:-Government Self and Custom build action plan January 2022.

UPDATE:- Flosh Meadows Self & Custom build have registered their interest in the governments financial self builders scheme.

Prospective self & custom builders who are interested in any site should also register at:


Self and custom build mortgage finance

Multi-year funding for ‘Help to Build’ was announced at the 2020 Spending Review. In April the government confirmed an initial £150 million over 4 years to support the scheme to deliver low deposit mortgages and improve affordability of home ownership for self and custom builders similar to Help to Buy.

1. Introduction

The housing market is dominated by a small number of volume builders and to reach the ambition of delivering 300,000 additional homes per year we must maximise delivery across new and existing sub-sectors, catalysing new tenures and giving consumers greater choice over housing products.

Self and custom build housing harnesses the power and initiative of individuals to instigate building projects giving them control over the look and feel of their home. Often utilising small sites of little interest to major builders, the sector brings forward housing projects delivered through SMEs and specialist builders, helping to build a more diverse and resilient housebuilding sector, and improving the design and quality of homes as they are built by the people who will live in them.

The self and custom build sector is under-developed in the UK. In Europe and North America, the sector delivers a much higher proportion of housing output. Only 7% of homes in UK are built via self and custom build, delivering an estimated 13,000 units in 2018. Nonetheless, even at this underdeveloped scale, this level of output is enough to make the sector the equivalent of UK’s fourth largest housebuilder. There is capacity to expand and if we increased to levels similar to the Netherlands, we could see 30-40,000 self and custom build homes built annually.

The government is committed to increasing the number of self and custom build homes in this country and to establish it as a mainstream option for people to choose to get on the housing ladder or when moving home. The government has previously brought forward initiatives to tackle the barriers to the growth of the sector, and now we are bringing these initiatives and new ones together under one self and custom build action plan.

more information at :


Cumbria has England’s lowest National Air Pollution

Cumbria has the lowest Air Pollution in England as reported in the very first world wide official national health index investigation carried out by the Office for National Statistics and Lane Clark & Peabody (LCP).

Flosh Meadows serviced self build plots are pleased to support these findings as our site is known to be in a healthy location and is sweet smelling, while benefiting from clean Cumbria air.

We look forward to a time in the near future when our procedures allow us to market and offer for sale our serviced self build plots for family home.

Self & Custom Build Wonderful Support

A new £210m scheme to assist people build their own home, helping to increase the supply of housing while also boosting the Welsh construction industry is being launched today (04 March 2020).

Self Build Wales, which is financed by the Welsh Government and managed by the Development Bank of Wales, provides people with ‘oven ready’ plots and a loan that covers 75% of the cost of a building plot and 100% of the cost to build a home.

To help self-builders meet everyday living costs, there are no repayments until the new home is completed.

The scheme also provides new opportunities for Welsh SME builders to build quality homes.

It offers a route into home ownership for people who want to stay in their local area but haven’t previously been able to afford to buy there.

(input by Richard & Betty Mulholland of Flosh Meadows) What a wonderful supportive scheme for Self & Custom Builders, we encourage Copeland Borough Council to provide similar and be the ‘trail blazers’ for our  English political masters; thereby allowing local persons with limited funding to build their own home with local builders and building suppliers greatly benefiting:

It also provides older and disabled people the opportunity to build custom adaptive housing that meets their needs, in the communities where they want to live.

The scheme aims to remove the barriers and uncertainty around self-builds and custom-builds – such as finding a plot, planning and finance – enabling more homes to be built and enabling Welsh builders to focus on building quality homes.

Figures suggest an average self-build house in the UK costs only 70-75% of its final value because no developer profits are involved. This puts that benefit into the pocket of the homeowner.

At around 10% of new homes, the UK has a much lower rate of self-building than other countries around the world.

Launching the new scheme, Deputy Minister for Housing, Hannah Blythyn said:

“We want to unlock the potential to build houses in Wales.

“While we are investing significantly in building new social and affordable homes, we also want to help far more people who want to build their own homes – doing so should not be the preserve of the most privileged households.

“We know finding the land, navigating planning consents and being able to afford to self-build while covering the cost of living can be real barriers. Self-Build Wales removes these barriers, and makes it far easier for people to build their own home. It will also be a significant boost to building firms across Wales.

“As we work to increase the amount of housing available, this scheme will help people who wouldn’t normally think of self-build to consider it seriously.”

Cenydd Rowlands, Property Director at the Development Bank of Wales said:

“We are excited to be working with the Welsh Government to deliver this innovative scheme which will have real impact for households as well as for wider communities.

“The Development Bank of Wales has been working with the property sector in Wales since 2012, and we have experienced first-hand the skill and passion that exists in the sector.

“Bringing planning, design, construction and funding together will open the doors to self and custom build for people who would not otherwise have considered it as a realistic option.”

Andrew Baddeley-Chappell, CEO of the National Custom and Self-Build Association said:

“Self-building enables the delivery of more and better homes that more people aspire to live in and that communities are happier to see built. Homes that are more beautiful, more in keeping with their surroundings and more sustainable than the mainstream market delivers. Homes that can combine high technology with the work of local artisans.

“We welcome this package of measures and the positive changes that they will deliver in Wales.”

Ifan Glyn​, Wales Director for the Federation of Master Builders said:

“Small building firms from across Wales will be delighted with the launch of the Self-Build Wales scheme. It has been a challenging time for small house builders over recent years with our members citing the drying up of financing streams and challenges in navigating the planning system as their main barriers to growth.

“We are delighted the Welsh Government have listened to our members’ concerns and have worked with us to develop a scheme that eliminates these barriers from the equation. The hard work starts now, but with continued collaboration, I am confident the Self-Build Wales scheme will provide our members with a major opportunity to build new homes within their own communities.”

More information can be found on the Self-Build Wales website here:

Lake District is awarded world heritage status

Lake District is UK’s first national park to win world heritage status

The Lake District National Park, World Heritage Site

The Lake District national park has been listed as a world heritage site, joining the Taj Mahal, the Great Wall of China and the Grand Canyon in being given one of the highest accolades on the planet.

With its rolling hills, spectacular mountains and stunning lakes, the site not only finds itself in illustrious company, but also becomes the UK’s first national park to be granted the status

Flosh Meadows self Build serviced plot site is only 1.3 miles (2.1 km) by road to the The lake District National Park World Heritage site or you can walk the (red) 2.5 miles internationally used Alfred Wainwright Coast to Coast route from Cleator up and over Dent Fell then into The lake District National Park.

“It is a unique part of the world that combines a vibrant farming community with thousands of archaeological sites and structures that give us an amazing glimpse into our past.

“This decision will undoubtedly elevate the position of the Lake District internationally, boosting tourism and benefiting local communities and businesses.”

About 18 million people presently visit the Lake District each year, spending a total of £1.2bn and providing about 18,000 jobs. These statistics will undoubtedly increase as a result of this wonderful & well deserved world heritage  allocation.

Copeland second happiest place in the country

Copeland named ‘second happiest place in the country’

DELIGHTED residents in Copeland have welcomed the news that the borough has been named the second happiest place in the country.

Findings revealed by the Office of National Statistics (ONS) show Copeland people ranked their happiness levels at 8.2 out of 10, with only Rushmoor in Hampshire – 8.35 – placing higher.

Copeland mayor Mike Starkie wasn’t shocked to learn his borough was one of the most joyful.

He said: “I’m pleased – but not surprised – that Copeland ranks so highly in this national survey.

“I’ve lived here all my life and, although I’ve travelled around with work, I would not want to have lived or brought my family up anywhere else.

“We have our challenges here, as all areas do, but with beautiful scenery on our doorstep, fascinating history, world-class industry, and great folk, there’s a lot to be happy about.”

Overall, British people rated their life satisfaction at 7.7 out of 10 and happiness at 7.5 out of 10. Anxiety scored at 2.9 out of 10.

For happiness, Allerdale ranked at 7.5 out of 10, Carlisle scored 7.2 and Barrow-in-Furness came out with 7.6.

Gerard Richardson, of Richardson’s of Whitehaven, who ran the town’s Maritime Festivals, also agreed Copeland was a happy place to live.

“It’s confirmed what we’ve known for years,” he said. “You tell me what there’s not to like, we’ve got a lovely, varied coastline as well as access to the Lake District. Many parts of Copeland are in the Lake District.

“There’s plentiful employment, good walks and towns. It’s a beautiful place and people sometimes struggle to see it. You’ve got to put aside your concerns over transport or infrastructure.

“There’s no high rise developments and people crammed in, the whole place is lovely.

“At one time people might have said retail was a downside but with the internet that has changed.”

Rise in Self Build UK homes

The continued Annual UK Rise in Custom and Self Build family homes is encouraging and Flosh Meadows in the village of Cleator with its 11c St Leonards church foundations history and an even earlier history of a Roman road with E W Pugin 19c church, are encouraging local person and further afield to be a part of this growth.

We believe that custom & Self Build family homes will play a major part in the Government’s effort to build millions of new homes some in Copeland at Flosh Meadows in the coming years.

Flosh Meadows self & custom build site immediately adjacent to the Lake District National Park being a UNESCO World Heritage site is attracting much attention even before the Self & Custon build site with its serviced plots have been offered for sale.

New UK national research has found the custom and self build market has experienced year on year growth of 6.25%. Homebuilding and Renovating published the The Self and Custom Market Report which forecast the market to reach 16,500 home completions by 2020, if the market continues at its current pace.

The National Custom & Self Build Association (NaCSBA) Report, shows comprehensive analysis of the current custom and self build sector and will be exceptionnally helpful in guiding & assisting policy makers at local and national levels.

The Chairman of NaCSBA, Michael Holmes, a contributor to the report said: “The analysis in this report contains details including how, where and why people build their own homes and what they put in them; and with the maximum possible authority, establishes the shape of the market in the coming years.

“We believe that this is the best attempt yet at providing a single reference for information on the custom and self build market. It will allow us and other members of the industry to better understand the motivations, hurdles and aspirations of self builders themselves and to understand activity in the market, down to a level previously undiscovered in terms of product choices and spend.”

A million plan to self build in 2020

By Anna Cottrell

The popularity of self build is growing, with Scotland and northern England offering the best opportunities

Have you ever considered a self build home? If so, you are among a growing number of people who like the flexibility and profitability of self builds and are considering one in the near future. Over 13,000 custom and self built homes were being built in the UK in 2017, and that figure is estimated to have risen to 40,000 since then.

Insulation Express have looked into UK attitudes towards self builds and have identified the best areas of the country to give one a go. It turns out that a very impressive seven million of us are actively researching building our own homes, with one million of those due to start their self building project in the next year.

There are several reasons for this huge rise in interest in the self build sector. For half (49 per cent), current new builds just aren’t cutting it in terms of building quality, so building a home yourself seems like a better alternative. Self builds are also subject to reduced stamp duty, with only the price of the land taken into account, and only if that price exceeds £125,000, or £300,000 for first-time home owners. Moreover, owners of self builds make an average 29 per cent profit when they sell, making a self build an attractive form of property investment.

How to self build your dream home, your way

But what about the cost of the plots available for self building? Here, the picture varies dramatically between different regions of the UK. The most attractive plot pricing is to be found in Scotland, with Inverness and Dundee offering plots of land suitable for self building at £91,000 and £95,000 respectively.

The north of England is another attractive self build hotspot, with Manchester, Salford, and Durham offering plots for between £112,000 and £128,000. Unfortunately, it’s not such good news for would-be self builders who live in Liverpool, where a self build plot will set you back an eye-watering £817,000. Oxford was the second most inhospitable city to self builders, with a plot there costing over £500,000. Derby, Cambridge and Cardiff are all also very expensive, with plots there coming in at well over £300,000.

It seems that currently, if you are seriously considering a self build, you should also be considering a dramatic relocation and potentially a lifestyle change, especially if you’re hoping to make money from your self build in the future.

Self-build builds potential for more and better homes

Source: Public Sector Executive April/May 2019

The director of The Right to Build Task Force – which advises stakeholders on bringing on more custom and self-build homes – Mario Wolf, who is currently on secondment from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, discusses challenges the public sector needs to engage with to deliver housing supply growth.

In his recent review findings, Sir Oliver Letwin pointed to the need for diversification in housing supply on large sites in areas of high housing demand to speed up delivery. Custom and self-build will make a vital contribution to this diversification, but to do so it needs the public sector to embrace it, and recognise that it can deliver more and better homes.

Continue reading “Self-build builds potential for more and better homes”

Sips Eco Panels budget-friendly

Sips Eco Panels Provides Help from Beginning to End

Sips Eco Panels knows how crucial it is for builders and developers to make use of the best materials being a budget-friendly yet highly-valuable material for home and building construction. Its structural insulated panels can be used for various construction and building projects, and now, it provides invaluable help from beginning to end to self-builders as well.

UNITED KINGDOM – Structural insulated panels have taken the building and construction sector by storm, being a budget-friendly yet highly-valuable material which is used for walls, ceilings, roofs, and more. More home- and building-owners now use SIPs as a replacement for traditional timber, and they have proven their integrity and durability in more ways than one.

Sips Eco Panels is one company which has helped numerous customers make use of eco panels for their homes and other structures, but its service extends to more than just SIPs supply. The company now helps more customers by providing premier guidance and assistance for self-builds as well.

According to Sips Eco Panels, it can now help customers with the design of their homes as well as the erection of their properties. As the company explains, “With over 40 years helping individuals, we can provide a complete service from design, planning permission and Building Regulations, through to supplying your super-efficient Sips Eco panels frame. When needed, we can even put you in contact with independent Project Managers to provide a complete build service for self-builders and small developers alike.”

Sips Eco Panels even provides videos for self-builders as well as a variety of design options for self-builds using structural insulated panels. But apart from this, Sips Eco Panels also provides brochures and installation manuals, construction manuals, and structural design guides which customers can request right on its website.

The uses of SIPs are varied, and this is one reason why structural insulated panels have become an excellent alternative to traditional materials. Structural insulated panels can be used for new builds as well as home and building renovations and roofs and extensions. Sips Eco Panels confirms, “We supply and manufacture both kits and blank panels to your specification. They’re inexpensive, easy to build and delivered straight to site.”

Customers who are keen on learning more about these structural insulated panels and how they can make use of them for their homes can also request a free quote from Sips Eco Panels through the company’s website.

About the company:

Sips Eco Panels has been supplying structural insulated panels to homeowners and building owners in the UK for many years. The company also assists self-builders and developers who need help with home and building design as well as installation and erection.

For more information on this SIP UK supplier, visit the website.

Media Contact
Company Name: Sips Eco Panels
Email: Send Email
Phone: 01592 631636
Address:5 – 7 Boston Road, Viewfield Industrial Estate
City: Glenrothes
Country: United Kingdom

Get planning permission for self-build projects first time

How to get planning permission for self-build projects first time
by sarahchilcott on October 16, 2017

You have found the site or the renovation project and are keen to get started. The last thing you need are delays with processing your planning application. Whether your plot comes complete with planning permission or you need to apply for approval, understanding the process, as well as the requirements and concerns of your local authority, will help you to achieve your aspirations and ensure your project complies with both the planning and building control requirements.

In this article, we introduce you to our Professional Portal; a central online hub for finding guidance, information and tools for managing any project. We also offer some handy tips on getting planning permission for your self-build first time, below.

Submit a valid application

Planning applications take an average of two months to process and your local planning authority will not begin to process your application until you submit all the necessary documentation and payment. Even professionals who submit applications still occasionally make errors so if you do choose to do it yourself, check and recheck your application form before submission. Make sure you include all necessary reports and forms to support the application – and that you pay the correct fee.

Provide a compliant map

When you apply for planning permission, your local authority will usually require a planning map, or maps, to support the application. One of the most common reasons for a rejected application is an invalid or incorrect planning map. Buying the correct map from a reputable source increases your chances of a successful planning application and will save you time and money.

You will need to supply a location plan which shows the area in its surrounding context and depending on the nature of your project, you might also need a site or block plan which shows the project in a wider scale and includes access routes, amenities, pylons, trees etc.

The following errors can invalidate a planning map:

Incorrectly marked location
Incorrect or missing scale label
Out of date information
A reproduction rather than original supplied
The map does not fit correctly on a A3 or A4 piece of paper
The map does not show the direction of north.

How can I ensure my site location plan is compliant?

Ensure markings for both the property boundary and other land owned are clear and current; (showing the land as it is today) with a red line around all the land that is required for the development and blue line drawn around any other land owned by you
Use an identified standard scale – 1.1250 for urban applications and 1.2500 for rural or larger applications
Clearly mark the direction of north
Make sure that the plan can be scaled to fit A3 or A4 paper
To demonstrate that the map does not breach copyright, clearly show the date of both plan creation and purchase
Show relevant roads and buildings.

How can I ensure my block/site plan is compliant?

Use an identified standard scale – 1.200 for urban applications and 1.500 for rural or larger applications
Clearly show the proposed development in the wider environment including the site boundaries and other buildings in the area
Clearly show all access routes, public rights of way, buildings, trees and footpaths on land adjoining the site that will affect the development
Show the type and extent of any hard surfacing/hardfacing.

Understand your local authority’s requirements

Unlike building control, planning rules can differ considerably from council to council, so gaining an understanding of your local authority’s local requirements is vital. Research the local council’s policy as well as national regulations and consult your council’s planning department or a Chartered Planning Consultant, architect or other professional, who can advise on the requirements and/or process.

If you’re still in the research stage of the process, take a look at the development plan policies of your local area for insights into plots that are more and less likely to get approval. Your local authority may offer supplementary planning guidance, giving more detailed information about their expectations and the external factors you need to consider such as the structure and layout of the neighbourhood. Talking to your prospective neighbours about any concerns they have can also help.

It’s important to note that policies can change over time, so what wasn’t permitted in the past may be considered today and vice versa. Don’t forget that you can track the progress of your application with the local authority and if you receive a request for further documentation or your application is rejected, use their expertise and ask for advice.

Get the support you need

Visit our Professional Portal for the resources you need to support your project; these key tools can be all be found in one central area of our website.

The planning system can be confusing so getting the right support and advice is vital. The aforementioned planning consultants or architects can help with guidance and once your project has been approved, make sure you recruit the right professionals for the job. The Federation of Master Builders can provide details of accredited, audited organisations and the RTPI has a comprehensive directory of Chartered Planners in your area.

Once you have been granted planning permission, don’t forget you also need building regulations approval to make sure you build to the correct standards. Find out more about building control on the Planning Portal website.

Visit our self-build hub for guidance on Community Infrastructure Levy, financing your project, brownfield registers and much more.

please note: this post was updated on 2/11/17]

Could you Project Manage your Self Build Home

This marvelous article can be found in the Home Building & Renovating magazine by the equally marvelous Mark Brinkley who is the author of the acclaimed “House Builders Bible” being required reading for potential self builders. By Mark Brinkley on 25 January 2018

From managing the neighbours to clearing up the site ready for the next subcontractor, Mark Brinkley explains what you need to know if you decide to project manage your self build

Self building does not necessarily mean constructing your home single-handedly, brick by brick — although some aficionados wouldn’t dream of doing anything else. In reality, you are going to need some help to either run the site on your behalf or assist you in your elected commanding role.

Lots of self builders choose to project manage themselves, often without realising just how much work is involved. If you decide to project manage your build, you are committing to a lot of work, stress and daily site visits for at least a year — but as you can save around 20% on your build cost doing so (as you’re taking on the role of the main contractor and keeping his 10- 20% added cost), it’s an appealing option.

Are You Prepared to Get Stuck In?

As project manager, you’ll be responsible for hiring subcontractors. However, one of the weaknesses of hiring trades to undertake the bulk of a building job is that there are many actions required that don’t fit easily into the standard subcontractor job descriptions. Tasks such as keeping the site tidy, stacking and storing materials, site security, taking in deliveries and temporary weatherproofing all fall on the project manager.

Anything that you’ve overlooked is unlikely to get done by anyone except you, so you rapidly find yourself building up a tool box of shovels, wheelbarrows, ladders and portable screwdrivers to fix those little in-between jobs to get the site ready for the next set of subcontractors.

It is here that the role of project manager gets conflated with that of being a site janitor, sometimes referred to as ‘management with a broom’. Be aware that running a building site requires lots of hours spent on site. If you can’t be there, then make sure that there is someone covering for you.

Do You Have Professional Friends to Call On?

Unless you are a very experienced builder, you would do well to have some support from someone who is. However much you can glean from books and articles, there are still aspects of the trade that you cannot know about until you get your hands dirty on site. If you do decide to go ahead without professional support, then prepare for it to take a lot longer, as you are likely to make a number of sub-optimal decisions that will add to costs and time taken.

The obvious person to have as a professional friend is the architect who designed the project. However, many architects are somewhat reluctant to fulfil this role – some like to just draw the plans – and the ones that do will make a significant charge.

Another route would be to have someone fulfilling the role of site foreman, someone who is very experienced in the trade who can spot the pitfalls before they happen and can also be around to lend a hand on the many in-between jobs. Again there is a cost, but often many things simply can’t be done by one person so you need to be realistic about this.

Are You Confident in Buying Materials?

Be aware that many subcontractors work on a labour-only basis and expect you to have purchased all the materials they need and for them to be ready on site at the scheduled hour. This is especially true of two of the critical trades — bricklayers and carpenters. You need to know both the quantities needed and to have an idea of what price you should be paying.

If you haven’t a clue, then this would be a useful moment to hire the services of a quantity surveyor who would create a bill of quantities with indicative prices. Also avail yourself of the local merchants and introduce them to the job you are undertaking. Organise credit facilities with several of them so that you can order without having to use a credit card every time you make a purchase.

Will You Be Able to Keep Track?

It is important to keep on top of the money side of things. If you choose to project manage the build and you are working to a budget – you should be – then keep expenses on a spreadsheet, broken down into the relevant cost centres to see how your job is doing against budget. Another very useful idea is to keep a diary of what happens when, who was on site and any unusual events that might later be of significance.

You also need to keep all paperwork in order to claim VAT back if it’s a new build or a conversion that qualifies for reduced or zero-rated VAT. The VAT rules are complex but potentially very beneficial to organised self-builders so you should familiarise yourself with relevant VAT notices and guidance. You need to keep all the original receipts to make a DIY reclaim, so you must organise your filing.

Are You Organised?

Running a good to-do list is key to every successful project. Some miraculous people do this entirely in their heads, but most of us need to write it down in order not to overlook items. The to-do list needs to be updated frequently, and also to be acted on.

For instance, it is all very well noting down the date the bricklayers plan to start, but you have to keep the bricklayers in the loop by ringing them every so often and letting them know how your schedule looks. Communication with suppliers and subcontractors is vital.

Start a new worksheet every couple of weeks and copy the previous list onto it before editing it to reflect the changes that have taken place in the meantime. Writing the list down adds discipline to the whole process. The list itself is divided between immediate tasks and longer term goals, which include a schedule of works that may be many months ahead.

Can You Manage the Neighbours?

It is well worth taking time out to chat to neighbours and explain what you are doing and when you plan to do it. They tend to be far more amenable if you can give them confidence that you are managing the process properly so that it will be as quick and painless as possible.

Sometimes a contentious planning application can sour the relationship before you even start on site and nothing you can do will make this better. But most people are realistic and understand that once planning permission has been granted, the building will take place and it’s actually also in their interest to get it done amicably.

Depending on how near your neighbours are, you may have to parlay with the Party Wall Act, for instance, which sets out ground rules for the responsibilities on both sides of the fence, and puts forward a mechanism for resolving disputes accordingly.

Do You Have a Handle on the Budget?

Have a realistic budget. Decide early on what sort of finish you are going for: the difference between the cheapest and the most expensive is staggering and while we might all want the best, realistically we have to make a lot of sacrifices if we want to stay on a reasonable budget.

The budget must also include a realistic contingency sum at the outset, probably around 15% of your overall budget. A contingency sum may well be spent before the project has even got out of the ground, as this is an area where unpredictable extras are commonplace.

After this stage, the contingency is more manageable and, in general, the better managed the project is, the less likely the contingency sum is going to get used up on unexpected costs.

In such cases, you will almost certainly spend it by upping the specification of the finishes, something that is all too easy to do. Look at it as a reward for spending all that time managing the project.

Can you handle it?

Only if the answer to all of the following questions is yes, should you consider it:

  • Are you able to spend time on site almost every day?
  • Do you feel confident at the thought of hiring, firing and negotiating deals?
  • Are you an expert at organising?
  • Will you dedicate time to researching products, trades, prices and materials?

Family Plots application November 2017

Dear Neighbour

Subject: Application for planning permission at Flosh Meadows, Cleator

I attach an illustrative drawing which will be submitted to Copeland Borough Council planning department, as part of a new application.

We continue to receive requests for self build plots at Flosh Meadows, especially from local families.

The application land is substantially hidden from view from Jacktrees Rd and St Mary’s Grotto due to the site lower ground levels and existing substantial & to be improved hedges with new planting.

We are formally meeting and requesting support from Cleator Moor Town Council & St Mary’s church for this self build for local families application.

(we have used the following description on our earlier letter to you, we are leaving it in as it is still relevant)

We appreciate that most people we are informing of our plans, have in the past built their own homes close to Flosh Meadows and will understandably have considerable sympathy and support for others wishing to do the same. Additionally, we are continuing to add local builders and suppliers to our list which we will make available to plot purchasers. Flosh Meadows development will bring work and revenue into our locality benefitting our community, local businesses and churches etc.

We are in continual discussion with the Homes & Community Agency (HCA) who with the Self Build Portal and their still developing ‘Toolkit for Local Authorities planning departments’ are encouraging more house building and in our case ‘more self & custom build serviced plots’.

The above mentioned ‘Toolkit etc’ recommends amongst many other matters the use of ‘plot passports’ which gives advice on design and materials for self build.

Flosh Meadows ‘Top Meadow plots’ area was designed to reduce any overlooking of existing properties and especially the cemetery & grotto including a 10m “No Build” zone from the cemetery boundary for such as garden sheds and similar and will always exceed the separation distances from existing homes required by Copeland Borough Council. Top Meadow plot & home owners will also be expected to reduce all noise when the Grotto is being used for special occasions.

Indeed, all new family homes at Flosh Meadows, including Top Meadow are further away from the cemetery grounds than other homes and busy hotel car park that have been in place for a considerable number of years.

We would be happy to discuss our plans with you; please contact us by any means suitable to you.

Richard & Betty Mulholland



Build Management options

Should You Project Manage Your Self Build?
By Jason Orme on 02 March 2017

An up to date and exceptionally comprehensive review of “Self Build” routes to managing your build by the Homebuilding & Renovating magazine:

There are a variety of different routes you can take to construct your dream home, says Jason Orme. But how do you decide which one is best for you?

For most individuals building their own home, the actual level of physical DIY build is next to nothing. ‘Self building’ encompasses a whole range of different approaches, but as long as you do any of the following, you can proudly wear a badge that says ‘self builder’ on it:

The level of involvement you choose is entirely up to you, but of course there are financial benefits of taking on as much of the work as possible, and project management is an area where this is certainly true.

Our project management guide covers the pros and cons of using a main contractor, being your own project manager and using a package company. It also includes advice on cash-flow and tips for successful project management.


It helps to clarify exactly what it is we’re talking about when we refer to individual roles in the building world:


subcontractor is a tradesperson who works for a main contractor. They are the electricians, brickies, carpenters and plumbers who are not paid directly by the self builder. If a self builder is project managing the site, these tradesmen actually become contractors, as they are directly employed.

Project Manager:

One of the functions of a main contractor. Project managers do not necessarily get involved physically on site but are likely to be constantly on the phone, organising trades and materials deliveries. They are responsible for bringing in the building project on schedule.

Main Contractor:

The individual who employs individual tradespeople (such as brickies and electricians) when necessary on a building project. They are likely to have a wide range of local contacts and be able to call on tradespeople at short notice. They are also likely to get involved with work on site and fill in the gaps.

Be Your Own Project Manager

How it Works

The self builder is responsible for the smooth day-to-day running of the building project. This involves:

  • interpreting the building drawings on site
  • finding, scheduling and directly paying tradesmen, from groundworkers to plumbers
  • organising and running the site, from hiring toilet facilities and security fencing to managing health and safety, keeping the site tidy and dealing with the grey areas between trades
  • taking deliveries and working out where to store materials safely
  • ordering and paying upfront for materials and ensuring they get delivered when needed
  • liaising with warranty and building inspectors.

Your Input

As above. You’ll need to be able to visit the site before work starts (8am is the traditional start of a tradesman’s day) and once work has finished, every day until the end of the project. In addition, you’ll need to be able to get to the site at a moment’s notice to deal with deliveries, meet building inspectors, service providers and so on. There is also likely to be some DIY involvement as you’ll need to fill in between the trades.

Cost and Cash-flow Implications

Project management requires early contact with trades and materials suppliers to come up with a realistic budget — critical if you need to arrange finance, and important to manage properly and keep a tight rein on cash-flow during the build.

As many lenders offer release of stage payments in arrears of work being done, you’ll probably need to arrange temporary bridging finance to pay tradesmen at the end of every week. Alternatively, you could investigate specialist advanced funding through BuildStore or Advanced Flexible Selfbuild Mortgage, which will provide money up front.

You’ll be able to save the builder’s profit (anywhere between 20-40% on labour and materials) but bear in mind that experienced local builders are more likely to be able to negotiate better discounts/trade prices on materials and, to an extent, on labour. Ensure that you establish a relationship with a local merchant and set up credit terms to help with cash-flow.

Risk Implications

Risk has a cost implication, and the ownership of that risk has the same monetary value.

When you employ a main contractor on a design and build basis you are pushing all design and risk ownership on to that company. When they price your project they will be building in money and provision to deal with any potential risk they can spot, using their experience and knowledge to try to understand the level of risk, possible costs, and still remaining hopefully competitive in a tough marketplace.

If you are the project manager you are holding ownership of that risk directly. If you manage to mitigate or reduce the risk, then you have saved money and can bask in the plaudits that this brings. But if the risk does become material, and escalates, you do not have any contract or agreement to hide behind, and must pay the costs accordingly.

Typical risks can relate to ground conditions, refurbishment of existing buildings, asbestos, position and conditions of drainage systems, and so on. If you pass this risk down your supply chain, the individual who ends up responsible will make financial provision in their price for this potential cost. So if your appetite for risk is low, then look at a comprehensive contract as soon as possible to pass the risk on, and pay the costs.

If you are a project manager and can fully understand the scope of potential downsides to specific identified risks, you could retain control of these and reap the potential savings.

Management Implications

As project manager, you need to know technical details, resources, and stage your project is at. How is it built? How does the frame tie in to the foundation? How is the cladding held up? Do the windows sit flush with the external façade, or in reveals? When does the kitchen require ordering to make sure the end date can be met?

You may not know the answers, but you need to know to ask the questions. As project manager, you are there to make sure that the people and resources you require are working together and fitting into your overall plan. Remember that if you let everyone guess or assume things, you will never ever get the result you had planned.

What resources do you need? For example, who will prepare the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) for your finished house? The two aspects you need to manage here are: what is an EPC and who can do it? Once these have been addressed, the principle is established and the resourcing to get the EPC can then be put in place.

Similarly, not asking the warranty provider to let you know what stages they want to inspect the works can be costly when you call them at the end and want them to issue the warranty — the more ‘covered up’ the scheme is, the more expensive the policy.

The status of the design is a vital part of your project management thoughts. The more loose and uncertain the design, the less robust and predictable the costs, the timings and the ability to place pre-orders, book manufacturing slots, etc. Hold regular and frequent design team meetings (and minute them with action points!) and make sure you always keep track of what is left to do or is as yet unknown — every unknown aspect will reduce the ability to procure effectively.

Nothing should be left until later, until it has been analysed for critical path impact, cost certainty and availability. Once you understand the process and the programme/flow then you can decide its importance or urgency, but not before you have done this analysis.

Project Manager Pros

  • You are the boss. Everything that happens comes under your control and you should get exactly what you want.
  • You control the programme, which can be tailored to match your design development — the need to know the tile colour is less critical when the foundations are being dug.
  • Direct management of the work can give you greater flexibility. You can accelerate or slow down the works to suit your individual requirements — if cash flow is putting pressure on, slowing slightly or delaying the work for a month may well ease this.
  • You know you are getting best value when you procure, because the process is open and transparent.
  • You will save levels of profit and overheads by eliminating the main contractor — anywhere between five and 15 per cent is possible
  • The final fit and finish and specification is as detailed as you want it to be — as the project manager, you can look at the design, the drawings and the specification, and add as much additional detail, samples, mood boards and technical support as you feel is necessary to avoid any miscommunication/‘want of knowledge’ issues with the trades contractors doing the work.

Project Manager Cons

  • Are you ready for the level of input it requires? The time required to manage the scheme is always more than anyone planned — your build will require you to be on site each day (or at least a fair part of each day), and your evenings will be spent scheduling, procuring and planning.
  • The emotional investment required is immense — for every happy, fulfilled day on site, you will have a dark, depressing and debilitating day to match. The nature of co-ordinating trades, supplies, deliveries and site logistics is challenging, and is demanding even to those who have done it for years.
  • Do you have the right temperament for the role? If you can’t bear the thought of conflict with sometimes irate tradespeople, maybe you need to think again. If you know your admin and paperwork skills are poor, you may need additional resources to help you. Do you have a good head and patience for managing and predicting the interface between trades, materials and subcontractors — firefighting is not only exhausting but seldom successful.
  • You need to be sure of your contacts and links to the industry — how will you find bricklayers? Do you know a reliable electrician? Recommendation is useful, but research and more research is vital.
  • You are funding the scheme, and are responsible for each payment to each subcontractor and supplier individually — you will need to set up a payment ledger to manage this, along with the hassle of individual valuation and measurement of works done every month/week.
  • The lack of credit line facility may require greater cash flow consideration when self managing. You will need to make upfront payments for goods and fittings, and in many cases the availability of trade discounts will be less than for an established contractor, subsequently negating some of the savings achieved by self managing the works.
  • You will need to carry insurance for the site — individual trades will hold their own insurances, but these will be normally be limited to the value of the works they are carrying out.
  • Self-management requires a level of technical knowledge to ensure you understand the implications of the information you are dealing with. You also need to be confident that you can appreciate the subcontractors’ requirements, information and demands, and balance this with the legislative and practical demands of the wider scheme.
  • You need to be confident with scheduling, programming and preparation of short-term works programmes.
  • Health and safety on site will become your responsibility overall — the site is in your control.
  • Logistics will require planning — toilets, craneage, phone line, water, electricity, etc.

The self-managed route is ideally suited to:

People with plenty of time – or a lot of flexibility in their full-time jobs – who can handle stress and uncertainty; those living close to site and able to understand the building process.

Tips for Successful Project Management

  • Find and contact local tradesmen during the planning process and get them organised ready to start when you need them.
  • Run a site office with copies of plans, standard site equipment, a phone and shelter.
  • Keep a diary of each day’s events and organise your quotations, certificates, plans, receipts and contacts meticulously.
  • Draw up a project schedule which will help you organise when labour and materials are required.
  • Organise materials deliveries so that you don’t have expensive materials lying around in unlocked places.
  • Keep the site tidy each day — it will speed up work the day after and minimise accidents.
  • Find time to plan. Don’t get caught up in the detail of each day’s progress — you’ll need to be constantly thinking ahead.
  • Make decisions early and stick to them — the hubbub of a busy building site is no time to be making snap decisions about kitchens, flooring and design issues.
  • Plan ahead and use the slow months before work commences to research materials and ideas thoroughly.
  • Account for the VAT reclaim in your upfront cash-flow plans. You will get much of the VAT you spend back in the months after the build has finished, but you’ll still need to find the cash to pay for it upfront.

Build It Yourself: The DIY Route

How it Works

You physically build the house from scratch yourself. While there are some tasks that you can’t carry out without the help of qualified professionals (unless you intend to take training), it is in theory possible to construct a whole house using your own labour. You’ll also be responsible for interpreting design drawings, ordering materials (and, therefore, having a good grasp of quantities), liaising with warranty and building inspectors, taking deliveries and organising the day-to-day running of the site.

Your Input

See above. You’ll need to combine the physically demanding tasks of groundwork, bricklaying and roofing with skilled tasks such as plumbing and plastering. There is nothing to stop you mixing your own labour with bought-in labour where required. Bear in mind that your own lack of experience might mean that you are likely to be slower than those around you and you’ll need to ensure that you’re not holding up the build process.

Cost and Cash-flow Implications

DIY is the only way to build individual houses for incredibly tiny sums of money. Cash-flow implications are much easier to manage than with the other routes, as the only outgoings are for materials, for which you should arrange credit terms. You’ll need to factor in the lost earnings you’ll miss out on — particularly if you’re giving up work for a couple of years to take on this role.

Build It Yourself Pros

  • Massive cost savings.
  • Complete control over the project and no worries about finding labour.
  • Huge sense of achievement and knowledge of every detail of your finished house.

Build It Yourself Cons

  • Factor in the lost earnings you’re sacrificing.
  • Progress will be a lot slower than with professionals.
  • The quality of work produced might not be to professional standard.
  • Warranty and building inspectors are very likely to be a lot more stringent in their checks.

The DIY route is ideally suited to:

Either people who have been around the building industry and are willing to give up their time, or retirees who have a practical mind and can view the project as a hobby.

Mix and Match

Many self builders decide to mix and match several approaches. Projects can be split into different sections – commonly up to, and after, weathertight stage is reached – and different approaches taken for each section.

For instance, some package companies might let you take their design services and materials supply up to weathertight stage only. You might feel that you can handle the decorating and landscaping yourself but need a builder to manage the rest of the project for you. You might want a project manager for the critical first half of the build but feel you can handle organising the internal trades yourself.

It is up to you to work out an arrangement that works best.


Compromise: You can save money, save time or ensure top quality, but you can’t have all three. Decide on your approach and accept that you will have to invest something.

Be Realistic: If you’re both running fulltime jobs, managing a building site is not for you. Assess your own situation.

Put Something In: Regardless of your route, you’ll need to manage your project.

Using A Main Contractor

How it Works

The self builder employs a main contractor to run the building site on a day-to-day basis. This will usually involve the main contractor being responsible for:

  • organising a smooth flow of labour onto the site when necessary (and paying them directly),
  • dealing with the unloading of deliveries,
  • organising warranty and Building Regulations inspections,
  • running the site itself (e.g. health and safety, toilet facilities and so on),
  • working from the design plans.
  • The main contractor might also be responsible for ordering materials and ensuring they are on site when necessary.

Your Input

You will be responsible for hiring the main contractor in the first instance — so choose well. In addition, you’ll need to ensure that the main contractor has detailed building drawings to work from and, crucially, a detailed specification of materials – whether he is ordering them himself or not – as early as possible.

You should be prepared to visit the site at least once a week to check on progress, and to ensure that the drawings are being followed, and that the main contractor has everything he needs. It’s also important psychologically for the main contractor to see that his work is being appreciated and encouraged.

You will still need to be able to maintain telephone contact at any time for emergencies or questions as they arise — communication is critical to the success of this route.

Cost and Cash-flow Implications

Although the main contractor will be responsible for paying the subcontractors, you will need to ensure a regular payment to the main contractor. Many main contractors will give a fixed price quote at the tendering stage and will present you with a monthly invoice (showing the balance still owing along with any ‘extras’) that you should be prepared to pay promptly.

If you are leaving materials purchasing up to your main contractor, be aware that while many contractors have trade accounts (and, therefore, long credit terms) with many key suppliers, you might be required to pay upfront for some items. If this is the case, ensure that you get them ordered in your name.

A main contractor will rely on a percentage uplift or ‘add-on’ to the quotes he gets from his subcontractors to pay him for his own time. This varies according to the market, but is likely to be around 20-40% on top of labour and materials prices. However, many self builders who go down this route view the main contractor’s margin as money well spent to avoid the stresses and strains of running a building site day to day.

Main Contractor Pros

  • A good contractor will have experience and insight into the build and pre-empt many issues before they arise.
  • They’re experienced in programming and procurement scheduling.
  • They are responsible for health and safety on site.
  • They’ll carry insurances for the works.
  • Payments and cash flow of the trades are the contractor’s responsibility.
  • The contractor’s credit lines ensure efficient cash flow.
  • The range of contacts and sources of materials is extensive and generally very reliable.
  • The use of a fixed-price contract gives an element of cost certainty, which helps both your planning, and the lender’s level of comfort.
  • Logistics and day-to-day running should be efficient and timely, and the site left clean and safe each day as part of the contractor’s working practices.
  • You make one payment each agreed period (usually monthly) to the contractor, which cuts down the complexity considerably.

Main Contractor Cons

  • Added cost: the contractor will have built in a level of profit into your contract price.
  • The scheduling and programming is out of your control.
  • The additional level of communication between you and the trades on site is held by the main contractor, which can give rise to cost increases to cover the contractor’s overheads and management of any changes.
  • The solvency of the contractor is essential to the smooth running of the site.
  • The contractor may make assumptions in the event that you are not around constantly — your specification documentation must be as comprehensive as possible to avoid unexpected issues.
  • Your control over the supply chain stops with the main contractor, which is less hassle for you, but more reliance is then placed on your documentation and specification to ensure you get what you think you are getting.
  • If you delay or stop the work for whatever reason, the contract may well contain provision for payment of loss of profit to the contractor — generally once the contract starts, it is financially vital that it finishes!
  • The feeling of empowerment you get from managing the process is lost when a main contractor is engaged — equally, the feeling of despair when it is stressful is lost too!

The main contractor route is ideally suited to:

Busy full-time workers and those who live a long way from their building site; people who have never built their own home before and might not be confident of the process. While you’ll still need to be able to get to site at short notice and field telephone calls, it takes the daily stresses away.

Package Company

How it Works

Package companies – also called ‘turnkey’ suppliers or ‘design and build’ companies – provide a one-stop-shop solution to the housebuilding process. They usually offer design, labour/construction and material supply as part of a fixed price contract. While most package companies operate in the timber frame sector, where they offer manufacture of the frame and erection, a few package suppliers offer traditional masonry construction.

The good news is that the traditional view of these companies – that they offer a limited range of standard house designs and tie the self builder into a complete and expensive onestop solution with a modest choice of finishing materials – no longer applies. Most now offer an effective bespoke approach that can be individually tailored to a self builder’s requirements and circumstances. For instance:

  • offering bespoke designs from an in-house designer
  • having a list of approved contractors to choose from rather than a staff team
  • the ability for you in some cases to opt out of parts of the package and choose your own finishing materials.

The reality is that the self builder can find a package company that will assist their project in any way they require.

The usual route is for the package supplier to:

  • carry out an initial site assessment
  • come up with a design and deal with planning issues
  • either manufacture the frame or arrange for materials to be delivered (or both)
  • arrange labour or assist in finding it (and liaise directly with the labour)
  • provide finishing materials.

Some may be willing to carry out project management services.

Your Input

Limited — which is the key reason why people choose this route. In theory the self builder can get as involved as they would like to, both on a project management or physical basis.

Cost and Cash-flow Implications:

Most package companies in the timber frame sector require payment upfront before the manufacture and supply of the frame (this was one of the initial reasons behind the conception of the advanced funding mortgages described earlier). Generally package companies, while offering free design services, will require regular payments (as a percentage of the total fixed price contract) throughout the process.

The package company route is likely to cost more than supplying materials yourself and is comparable to getting your builder to supply materials for you. You will save the significant early payments that an architect would require and benefit from the knowledge that the package company’s designers are well versed in relating their designs to your build budget — something independent architects are not necessarily renowned for. This alone makes the extra costs worthwhile for many self builders.

Package Company Pros

  • Saves dealing with architects and ensures build costs are realistically tied in with the house design.
  • The most hassle-free way to build.
  • Many package companies have lists of approved contractors, bypassing the difficult issues of finding labour.
  • Package companies provide reassurance and moral support during the process.
  • Their buying power enables them to negotiate discounts with key materials suppliers that individuals might not be able to enjoy.
  • Some package companies provide assistance with initial issues, like finding and assessing land, planning permission and Building Regulations, that would otherwise be left to the self builder.

Package Company Cons

  • Limiting your own input invariably means paying for someone else’s — this is not a cheap alternative, although it might be cost-effective.
  • The quality of the design depends on the skills of a limited choice of in-house designers — some are great, some are moderate.
  • Some package companies offer a limited choice of finishing materials.
  • Many require significant upfront payments.

The package company route is ideally suited to:

Self builders who require a helping hand with their project, because they are busy or inexperienced in the building industry. Package companies provide solutions to the numerous problems that self builders face: from finding and assessing land to finding labour.

Build Calculators

A wealth of advise is available online for calculating your self build costs and correctly they all say “each build is different” and Flosh Meadows management have an article which rather harshly has the title “Self Build is not for wimps”.

Most sensible calculators show a wide range of costs from £700 to £1500 per square metre where the costs are fully dependant on how much work you personally intend to do.

Our favourite calculator still remains “The Housebuilders Bible” Mark Brinkley has produced the best reference book frequently updated for all self builders and he is a helpful nice guy as well.

Other excellent self build cost calculators can be seen at:

Estimating your self build costs is fundamental to your project planning.

The Self Build Guide



Let’s look at the factors that affect self build costs and how to work out how much yours might be.

Calculating a ball-park figure allows you to:

  • Decide if it is economically viable to build your own home.
  • Work backwards to calculate how much you can afford to spend on a plot of land.
  • Assess your borrowing needs.
  • Get an idea of the house you can build within your budget.

Factors Affecting Self Build Costs

The cost of building a house is affected by many factors including:

Build Method

Most build cost calculators work on traditional masonry or timber frame build costs. If you are interested in a specialist build method you should contact specialist companies for estimates. Have a look at the house construction methods available to you.

Geographical Location

Variations in material, labour and equipment prices affect the total build cost. As you’d expect, London is the most expensive area, followed by the South East. The Midlands, Yorkshire, Wales and the North East are the cheapest.

Build Route

The more you do, the more you save. Employing a package company increases the price but reduces the stress. Visit our build route page to look at the options.


Economies of scale apply. Pound per square metre build costs reduce as the size of the property increases. Each additional floor becomes more cost effective than the last.

Materials and Design

Your choice of materials and bespoke design items will have a considerable influence on the cost of building a house.

  • Build Quality
  • Better quality = more expensive
  • Site Conditions

Contaminated ground, a steep slope or a location in the back of beyond can all wreak havoc with your budget. The actual impact on your build costs are often difficult to predict.

Garages and Outbuildings

Garages and outbuildings must be accounted for. It is usually recommended to budget the same £/m2 for garages as for the main house.

The Building Costs

Build costs are referred to in Pounds per square metre (£/m2) with m2 being the total internal floor area of your proposed home.

Depending on the influence of the factors mentioned above, a traditional masonry or timber frame build in the UK can range anywhere from £550/m2 to £1700/m2.

This variance is by no means restrictive and a cutting edge design and build could come in well above the top figure. If you are considering this, speak to your architect or designer about cost implications.

Build Costs Calculators

To achieve an accurate estimate, have a look at build cost calculator. It is found near the back pages of their magazine and is a great tool. Their figures are regularly updated in line with the Build Cost Information Service (BCIS) of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) who provide the industry standard in estimating rebuild costs for insurance purposes.

H and R’s calculator generates an initial figure based on floor area, build route, standard of finish and area of the country. It then takes you step by step through adjustments for factors such as slope of site and use of basement or roof space. The result is a good build cost estimate that reflects your plans.

There are some simple and free calculators available online including Buildstore’s – Build Costs Calculator which can quickly give you a rough idea of overall costs.

Other Costs to Remember

People often like to add up the actual build costs and pretend that some others don’t exist. This is bad practice, always budget for everything and remember to include:

  • Land purchase – Solicitor’s fees, stamp duty, other costs.
  • Professional fees – Architects, Planning Consultants, Engineers, etc.
  • Borrowing costs – Interest payments and set up costs. Click for more on mortgages.

The significance of these costs will be specific to your individual project. If they are relevant then the cost implications should be noted.

The Next Step

By estimating your self build costs you can assess the feasibility of building, set a budget for your plot or begin the design process in earnest. As you move forward you’ll need an accurate set of projected costs which can be used to assist with the design and project management of your build. Our money matters section looks at all things financial in more detail including building up your cost projections.

All this talk of self build costs is a bit draining! It is good to remember that by doing it yourself you can save up to 25% of the value of the completed property.

UK self-builders are enjoying more space for less budget

UK self-builders are enjoying more space for less budget

By Warren Lewis 16th October 2017


UK self-builders are enjoying more space for less budget

Brits who self-build are doubling the size of their homes while paying up to a quarter (27%) less than the price of an existing house or new build, the latest figures show.

The Self & Custom Build Market Report reveals that those who roll up their sleeves and erect their own house enjoy significantly more space and comfort of approximately 247m2 versus England’s average of 94m2.

In addition, the same survey, conducted by Homebuilding & Renovating, reinforces the financial benefits of opting for this route, as the significant savings self-builders can achieve through development gains, lower production costs and an element of positive house price inflation are approximately 25 per cent, with the average finished house value being £717,071.

When examining how self builds compare against the average size of homes in the current market, the North East stands out as having the largest dimensions of 373m2, followed by Northern Ireland. Expectedly, London has the smallest average at just 191m2. Based on their UK location, the size is two or even three times bigger than the current or newly built properties.

According to Jason Orme, spokesperson for The Northern Homebuilding & Renovating Show, “Self-builders are making the most of the market as they know the financial and practical results will be more rewarding than if they were to buy a new house. Building your own home allows you to choose its specifications and customise it for your needs. We can confidently say – self builders appreciate their space.

From original online information:

Self Build Homes encouraged by UK Government Sep’ 2017

Custom-Built Homes to be Pushed by UK Government

September 14, 2017 by CRL Management

original article can be found at: New Custom Build Homes

new custom built homes

Custom-built and self-built homes are a way to change housing from something a community receives to something the community does for itself.

Despite a growth rate of 6.25% year on year, self-built properties are still a minor phenomenon in the UK, accounting for only 10% of a newly built homes. In contrast, 60% of homes in Germany, France, and Italy are self-built. In Australia and the U.S.A., the amount is 40%.

England and Scotland are now getting involved in a sector that could provide the UK with over 40,000 new homes per year.

The country’s first plot shop has now been opened. Located in Bicester, it will sell land plots on the Graven Hill in Oxfordshire to those seeking new custom built homes. Once complete, the development will be the biggest of its kind in the country, providing up to 1,900 new custom and self built homes.

Housing and Planning Minister Alok Sharma said that methods of supplying needed housing need to become more creative. The opening of the first plot shop in the UK will make it possible to deliver new custom built homes and self-built properties on a wider scale.

The SNP Government in Scotland is establishing simplified planning zones, where certain types of development will have planning permission waived. The Housing White Paper also confirmed intentions to doubling the number of custom and self-built homes by the end of the decade.

Virgin Money also released a product for self-builders. The new custom built homes market offers substantial growth potential by delivering high-quality homes tailored to a buyer’s individual requirements.

With custom build, aspiring homebuilders are given the tools to design their dream homes whilst the professionals step in to translate those dreams into reality. This strategy eliminates the risk and burden normally associated with a self-build project, creating a more varied housing market that advocates both individuality and design.

In April 2016 it became a requirement for every council across the country to retain a register of people seeking to build their own home. Over 18,000 aspiring homeowners have now submitted their names to local registers.

The Home Building Fund, which the government launched in October 2016, has made short term loan finance worth £1 billion to support custom build, innovation, and small and medium-sized enterprise builders.

According to the Self & Custom Build Market Report, the estimated value of the sector is £6 billion and growth of 41% is expected over the next three years. Contributor James Orme said that the market increase and other factors are motivating product and service suppliers to regard the custom and self-build markets as interesting opportunities.

About CRL

CRL’s specialist team arrange structural defects insurance to protect thousands of new ventures throughout the UK and Ireland. CRL assist in sourcing fast, flexible cover, arranged by the in-house team who are dedicated to providing the highest quality of customer service.

Anyone engaged in a building project or managing a portfolio of new-build properties that require mortgages, will require a 10-year structural insurance policy on the property. CRL recognises that every opportunity is different, there are no tick boxes and no set criteria – just an appetite for adventure!

To find out how you can start working with CRL and purchase a structural warranty, visit what we cover.

Self Build Zone Site Insurance & Warranty

The tricky part is getting the right sort of insurance. Many people carrying out a Self-build or renovation project believe that their builders and contractor will have insurance to cover the project or that a home insurance policy will cover a property that is undergoing a renovation. This simply isn’t the case says “Home Building magazine experts”.

Don’t just think that any old insurance company can give you cover either – they really can’t and in most cases haven’t got a clue what you really need anyway. In reality there are only a handful of suppliers able to provide you with the advice you actually need and the product that you are looking for.

So let’s clear up some myths.
“My Contractor has Public Liability insurance, so I’m covered” – No you’re not. Public Liability covers the contractor or tradesmen against his liability to you for a negligent act error or omission and you have to prove their negligence. What it doesn’t cover is your property that is damaged by accident, a fire, flood, storm, etc or any of your property that is stolen from your site. You will have no cover if you cause an injury to someone or damage a neighbour’s property.

“My contractor has Contractors All Risks Cover, so I’m covered” – Possibly. So long as the contractor has a valid ‘Contractors All Risks’ insurance policy, with a limit that meets or exceeds the full rebuilding cost of the project, there is a written contract between both parties stating that they are responsible for the whole project to the point of handing you the keys to a completed property, you should be OK. However, if that contractor is building the shell and you are taking over from there, you will have no cover when they have left the site.

Conversions, Renovation or Extension all involve an element of Existing Structure that needs to be correctly insured. For example the house that’s being extended, the barn prior to conversion works and so on. It’s really important that the existing bit gets correctly insured and this is especially true where an extension or remodelling project is concerned. The misconception is that your home insurance covers the extension works during the course of construction – in fact most home policies exclude alteration and renovation as standard. If you advise your home insurer they may offer you some cover but only on a named perils Fire, Lightning, storm etc. basis so a collapse while knocking through won’t be covered.

Site Insurance
A Site Insurance policy is a specialist insurance product otherwise known as a Contractors All Risks Policy – it’s designed to cover projects like yours. By the very nature of the projects you are carrying out they are quite complex and so don’t read like Home & Contents policies. They normally cover All Risks of Physical Loss or Damage, which means literally All Risks and is considerably better than just Fire, Flood Storm etc which is called a named perils policy. A Site Insurance policy can usually be extended to include existing structures on an All Risks basis.

Structural Warranty
A 10 Year Structural Warranty is a policy that covers a house against defects in the design process, materials used or the actual workmanship itself causing major damage along with defective underground drainage and defective weatherproofing. It runs for 10 years from the point you receive your Completion Certificate and enables a prospective purchaser to obtain a mortgage on the property in the event you sell it on.

For example:- If your home is flooded in a storm – then your home insurance pays for it, but if that flooding is deemed to be caused by the roof collapsing because it was not correctly braced when built that is classed as defective workmanship and would be excluded by the home insurer. They would simply suggest you sue the builder, which in raw terms is you. This is why structural warranty is so important on self-build properties.

The warranty provider checks the design of the build and the construction using a series of Technical Audits to make sure there is no defective workmanship, or materials. Defects identified along the way have to be remedied prior to issuing cover.

A warranty provider can often facilitate the handling of the Building Regulation plan check and site inspections by an approved inspector so you don’t have to use the Local Authority. You can normally save money following this route because if you do decide to use the local authority, the warranty provider still has to do warranty inspections alongside the local authority so you effectively get charged twice for the same thing!

Arrange the warranty early on! Basically, the premiums escalate the further through the project you leave it.

It’s possible to cover completed properties on a structural warranty retrospectively

which can be useful if you didn’t get a warranty in place at the start of the build as it enables a prospective purchaser to raise a mortgage on the property. A completed warranty is an expensive option when compared to purchasing it at the start of your project.

Understanding Your Obligations and avoiding being targeted
OK – so let’s get back to the reasons why you purchase site insurance and structural warrantys and consider some important factors regarding claims.

It’s important you read your schedule documents and the policy, to make sure the details are correct and you know what your obligations are. Check whether there are any endorsement or warranties and make sure that you understand the implications and comply with them.

You will need to keep receipts for everything. Site insurance policies are not ‘new for old’, so unless you can prove it was recently purchased the settlement will be reduced for wear and tear.

If you have a flood or a break in etc, take photographs and act as if you were uninsured, make sure the police are informed if it’s a theft. For example:- If you have a flood, hire a pump and a dehumidifier – the additional costs will be recoverable as part of the claim.

Make any claim promptly – if you prejudice the insurer’s position they may refuse all or part of the claim.

Prevention is better than cure so avoid being targeted by criminals. This always sounds like a copout but the simple fact is, a claim will be a huge interruption to your project so if you can avoid one in the first place you will be better off. Don’t underestimate the criminal mind, for example the fact that your roof tiles are now in position on the roof won’t always stop a criminal stripping them overnight!

In the vast majority of theft claims dealt with, stuff delivered to site is miraculously stolen very shortly after being delivered. Research has shown that the reason for this is unscrupulous individuals who basically see something quite tempting delivered and then tip off a criminal in exchange for cash.

To combat this, just make sure a written record is kept of people delivering, visiting and working on site and check for personal ID each time someone new arrives. By writing their name down in a book, you can be sure they will think twice about blabbing down the local pub especially as you know exactly who they are!

Don’t store delivered materials in full sight, if your kitchen is being delivered, store it upstairs out of sight.
Plant tools and equipment are expensive items to hire so if you no longer need it Off hire it ASAP.

It’s all common sense really. If you need more information, request a fact sheet from Self-Build Zone.

Build your own homes says Richard Bacon, Norfolk MP.

Norfolk MP calls for self-build revolution to fix ‘broken’ housing system

A Norfolk MP will today call for a revolution in people building their own homes – in order to fix a housing system which he says is broken.

Plots of land should be sold to groups or individuals on which they can self-build or custom-build their own homes, says South Norfolk MP Richard Bacon.

They could within a three-year limit be by building it themselves or getting a small, local builder to construct it to their specifications.

He said: “You can build a house for something between £80,000 and £160,000. It happens all the time.

“If we were building as many units of self-build and custom house building as they are in the Netherlands now, we would be creating 60,000 extra units a year on top of what is currently being delivered, which could make a significant difference.”

He said giving people the chance to decide what their homes should look like and getting communities involved in the process could also remove anti-development sentiment.

He said: “Under the current system, people are often resistant to development, despite the fact it’s their sons and daughters and grandchildren who need homes.

“That’s because they feel housing is something which is imposed on them, rather than something they help to shape. I’m trying to get to a place where we understand the difference between building boxes and building a great place to live.

“What has happened in our planning system is that it’s become all about the numbers. And people do not like being told x number of homes are going to be built where they live.

“We must have better, smarter, beautiful ​development that offers a wide range of real choices to consumers and is actively welcomed by existing communities, including the grandparents and parents who so often oppose development with arms folded saying, ‘We don’t want any houses in our area’.”

He has convened a conference called How Should Norfolk Grow? at the John Innes Centre today, where experts from all over the country will be speaking.

He has invited councillors and officers from Norfolk’s councils, planning consultants, architects, designers and construction companies to the conference.

PUBLISHED: 09:05 29 June 2017

Cumbria “Best Place to Live” says National Body

Cumbria is the best place in England to start a family, a new survey suggests.

To mark International Children’s Day, the online estate agent eMoov and the charity Hope for Children ranked England’s counties based on four criteria.

Points were awarded on the affordability of house prices, what percentage of pupils achieved level four and level five in their primary school Sats tests, average life expectancy and the level of victim-based crime.

Cumbria scored 18.10 in the survey for its mix of affordable property, high level of performance in primary schools, long life expectancy and relatively low crime rate. Continue reading “Cumbria “Best Place to Live” says National Body”

Executive homes plan for the Flosh (Flosh Meadows)

LARGER “executive” homes are planned for a 21-house development in Cleator Moor.

The land behind Flosh Farm was set to house 28 homes after planning permission was granted last year.

But self-build developers have now “illustrated the need for larger plots” as their research suggests there is a “shortage in ‘executive’ quality housing” in the area.

Richard & Betty Mulholland, who owns the land near the Ennerdale Country House Hotel, submitted a planning application for a different layout of the site which accommodates a smaller number of larger homes. Continue reading “Executive homes plan for the Flosh (Flosh Meadows)”

Government double number of self-build homes

Government unveils plans to double number of self-build homes

Posted on February 5, 2016 by Stephen Little in News with 0 Comments

what-mortgage-feb-2016selfbuildhousePeople looking to kick-start their dreams of building a home will find it much easier now with the launch of new registers scheme designed to help them find plots.

Councils will have to keep a register of aspiring self and custom house builders when planning for future housing and land use from 1 April as part of the government’s solution to tackle the housing crisis.

The registers should make it easier for those looking to build their own homes to find a plot of land when one becomes available.

Housing and Planning Minister Brandon Lewis said the move will help unlock the massive potential the custom build industry has to meet the UK’s future housing needs.

Lewis said: “Many other countries have a track record of delivering large numbers of local homes through self-build and we’re determined to ensure self and custom house building grows significantly.

“The new registers are a fantastic example of our commitment to double the number of custom and self build homes by 2020 – so anyone who wishes to design their dream house can do so.”

According to Halifax , average house prices rose 9.7% to £212,430 in the year to January.

As result of the housing crisis, many people now fear they will never get on the property ladder. Rising prices have been blamed on the shortage of supply as well as rising demand.

The government pledged to build 400,000 new homes by the end of the current parliament as part of its commitment to boosting home ownership in the Autumn Statement.

However, the UK currently only builds about half the number of the 250,000 homes which are needed each year.

The registers are in addition to the measure in the Housing and Planning Bill which will require authorities to ensure they have sufficient shovel ready plots to match the local demand on their register.

The Self-build and Custom Housebuilding Bill was first presented to Parliament by Richard Bacon MP and placed a duty on local authorities to keep a register of those seeking an interest in bringing forward self and custom build projects.

In the Spending Review the government announced the Housing Development Fund which aims to provide access to £1 billion of loan finance for up to 5 years supporting the provision of over 25,000 homes through to 2024 to 2025.

The fund is for custom build, small and medium builders and innovative new building methods.

The  original excellent article can be viewed at:

Government unveils plans to double number of self-build homes

Press Reports

We are pleased at the coverage by our local weekly Whitehaven News and our local evening paper the News & Star both papers cover our local area and because we are local and offering plots preferably for local people to build their local family home (have we mentioned local before??) we show copies of their local articles on our Press Reports page.

Self Build Housing will support Cleator

Press article Saturday 19 July 2014 webOn Saturday 19 July a wonderful write up on Flosh Meadows site by Jenny Barwise in the News & Star evening paper came out of the blue.
We sent  a thank you to Jenny which we show below.
It is very pleasing that the wishes of people within this local area are being listened to by our local councilors and of course Copeland planning Officers; not all Councils planning departments look on self build favourably.

Continue reading “Self Build Housing will support Cleator”

Planning panel says YES to Flosh Meadows Self Build

On 16 July 2014 Copeland Borough Council Planning Panel unanimously agreed to grant permission and allow the Self Build Planning application at Flosh Meadows, Cleator.

There is still a long way to go but at least we know that self build will happen at Flosh Meadows in the near future.

We will now look to finalise plot, road and open space layout for the site and then get the road built and start to set the price for each plot and offer them for sale.

For further information please use our Contact Form and we will try to assist.

Richard & Betty Mulholland

South Norfolk MP calls for a self-build homes revolution to limit dominance of major housebuilders

Richard-Bacon-MPWhy, when it comes do buying a shirt do we have almost infinite choice, yet when it comes to investing in a new home, we seem to have hardly any? says MP for South Norfolk Richard Bacon

The current new-build housing market, dominated by a few large-volume companies is “intellectually bankrupt”, according to South Norfolk MP Richard Bacon.

The answer? Empowering more people to be able to build their own homes. Continue reading “South Norfolk MP calls for a self-build homes revolution to limit dominance of major housebuilders”

Cleator 1901

An excellent 2006 article by © Steve Bulman of Bulmer’s History & Directory Of Cumberland, 1901: is a must when you are deciding if you wish to live in Cleator with its extensive history from Roman road to Kangol hats and along Wainwrights Coast to Coast internationnally renowned route taking you into the 2018 declared  UNESCO World Heritage site of The English Lake Distict National Park.
Cleator 1901:
Though small in extent, has risen more rapidly in the scale of material wealth and importance than any other parish in west Cumberland. Cleator is about three miles in extent from north to south, and one and a half from east to west, covering about 2,946 acres, which are assessed at £45,845. It is bounded on the north by Frizington, on the west by Kinniside, on the south by Egremont, and on the east by St. Bees.

Continue reading “Cleator 1901”

Self Build is not for Wimps

Self Build is not for the faint hearted:

(sub titled as I am advised by family & friends that ‘Wimps’ is a harsh word !!!)

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

Building your own home can be one of the best life style & financial choices a family can make but it should be entered into only following thorough research and a willingness for hard work. It can bring exceptional financial benefits if you ‘put in’ a lot of the work yourselves and control your costs by careful buying of materials and sub contractor costs; if this is not what you want to do it may prove more expensive than buying a standard house “of the peg”. 

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 irrevocable purchase or action”.

A self builder cautioned me some years ago; “you spend 12 month building your perfect designed high quality home and possibly if you are not careful 24 months re-building your relationship” so be fully aware of the difficulties before you make a life changing decision.

It is not our intention to sell you the idea of self build. We simply offer our self build, Flosh Meadows serviced plots in a wonderful part of West Cumbria within short walking distance of the internationally renowned The Lake District National Park a World Heritage site.

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 “Self Build is not for Wimps”

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 “Planning application – Let’s go for it”

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 “Self-build penalties quashed February 2014”

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

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

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 “New model for self-build set up by Parliament”

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

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 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 “UK govt to make self build homes exempt from infrastructure levy”

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

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

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 building guide published-November 2012”

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 “Self-builders keen to spread the word”

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 “Housing minister calls for more self-build mortgages”

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 “UK govt puts £30 million into self build”

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

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 “Self-Build – A solution to housing shortage.”

Self builders are keen to be eco friendly

I was talking with two hopeful self builder earlier today. They were trying to (their description) “get their head around Eco requirements” for their hopeful new self build home. I am not sure if they appreciated my answer “so am I !!!”. but I pointed them to the Self Build Portal web site:  which contains amongst many others the following helpful article. Continue reading “Self builders are keen to be eco friendly”

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.

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 “Sustainability: Self Builders versus Major Developers”

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 “Government encourages self-builders”

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 “Code for Sustainable Homes”

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 “Government on Self Build 2011”

Flosh Meadows – Reasons to Develop

The original 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 2017 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.

Betty & Richard are making no assumptions on future decisions; but within this website they wish to sound positive of gaining permission and will present reasons why such should be given. They fully appreciate and understand that the local planning authority decision makers and officers need to take a host of requirements into account before deciding on suitable new build sites for family homes. (2017 update: 2 parcels of land have been given planning permission)

Considerations (amongst many others) the planning authority will take into account are:
  • does the area need regenerating
  • would more homes help with the regeneration of the village
  • is there a shortage of high specification homes in the area
  • is there a shown wish for high quality homes in the village
  • are families waiting to purchase
  • is suitable safe land available for immediate development
  • is there a variety of styles and specification on offer from developers
Why Flosh Meadows should be allowed to be further developed:
  • April 2013 Copeland Borough Council recommended to Government Inspector that Flosh Meadows should be allowed to be further developed
  • December 2013 Inspector agreed to Flosh Meadows extension and Copeland Borough Council formally adopted the decision
  • Flosh Meadows has immediately available infrastructure to take additional properties N.B. foul sewage within the village is scheduled for improvement by United Utilities in 2014
  • Cleator would benefit from regeneration, in 2008 the village post office and shop closed and in 2009 a public house closed
  • it offers an immediately available shovel ready scheme which would increase the high specification & aspirational (Executive Homes) housing stock in Copeland
  • investment in the Flosh Meadows family home development would assist local growth and provide increased skills training with a subsequent increase in employment.
  • Flosh Meadows will offer high quality homes in an attractive supportive community that is served by public transport giving good access to employment, sporting, recreational, key service centres, churches, schools & other educational establishments.
Additional considerations:
  • a number of prospective self builders wish to purchase plots at Flosh Meadows if they become available
  • self builders are known to build high specifications homes
  • Flosh Meadows is outside of the flood risk area and is immediately adjacent to the village boundary
  • Flosh Meadows commenced with five self build family homes with relatives & friends in the immediate locality
  • all families who originally built (2001) occupied their family homes until one sold in 2010
  • Copeland Borough Council in the 2005 Local Plan recommended that Cleator should have 1 ha of land immediately adjacent to the A5086 at Cleator Mills for housing development to assist in the regeneration of the village.
  • the land at Cleator Mills was forced to be withdrawn in late 2005 when the Environment Agency informed Copeland Borough Council that the land was situated in the highest flood risk zone 3A, the land was further confirmed to be in the highest risk flood zone 3A in 2006 & 2012 (update 2017 Small area close to A5086 road is now in 2nd highest flood zone 2)
  • Copeland Borough Council subsequently stated that homes should not be built on a high risk flood zone and have further stated to government inspector in 2013 that the only homes allowed to be built in a high risk flood zone would be in Whitehaven
  • increased problems are being experienced in obtaining affordable insurance for homes in the high risk  flood zone 3 & 2 (flood zone 1 means that no flood risk applies),  local MP Mr. Jamie Reed when in post publicly identified this matter
  • Update 2015: permission was granted for homes on the highest risk flood zone !!
Decision makers at Copeland Borough Council are discussing & consider:
  • Copeland Borough Council Local Development Framework  working party are scheduled to consider ‘boundary change at North of Cleator’
  • Copeland Borough Council considers “self builders provide high specification properties to housing stock”
  • there is an  acknowledged shortage of high specification homes within the authority
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