The 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.Ministers want one in five homes built in the coming years to be self build projects – up from around 10 per cent last year.
Mr Pickles said that councils will be told to release land to residents hoping to build their own property.
He also said that the Government will reduce red tape so that people trying to build properties will not have to “bang their heads against walls” to get their project off the ground.
People looking to build their own home will be also be exempt from paying controversial planing tariffs and the ‘Community Infrastructure Levy’, which could cut the cost of self-building by thousands of pounds.
“We’re taking practical steps which will unlock the potential and will turn our country, which is famously a nation of shopkeepers, to a nation of self-builders too,” Mr Pickles said.
Mr Pickles said that he wants to double the number of custom build properties in the coming years, up from 11,000 projects last year.
“In some countries – Austria, Belgium, Sweden – as much as half of the new housing is custom built,” Mr Pickles said.
“But they have a system which supports and encourages and rewards self building. We must do likewise.”
“We’re working to help would-be self-builders get the access to the finance they need and because we believe that custom building should not be the preserve of the elite and the wealthy we’re offering £47billion worth of loans to aspiring self builders.”
He added: “This Government believes in supporting ambition. The more people who build their own homes the better.”
Mr Pickles said that the “level of resistance to self-build small development is much less than some of the larger developments” that lead to opposition in countryside communities.
He also said that too many people currently view projects such as those featured on Grand Designs, the Channel 4 programme presented by Kevin McCloud, as a “preserve of the elite”.
He said that families across Britain should in future be able to design and create a property regardless of how much money they have to spend.
However, he warned that “tricksy schemes” where developers pretend that projects are self-build schemes will not be tolerated.
Mr Pickles also ruled out “imposing” new garden cities on parts of the country to solve the housing crisis.
David Cameron has previously said that he supports applying “the principles” of garden cities to “areas with high potential growth”.
Nick Clegg, the Deputy Prime Minister, has said that he wants to build new towns across Middle England.
The above is a copy of an original article by Peter Dominiczak Political Correspondent of The Telegraph.