Self-build and custom house building register guidance.
This guidance is applicable from April 2021 and will be updated periodically to reflect any changes in legislation or Bromley Council’s requirements for applicants.
What is self-build and custom housebuilding?
The legal definition of self-build and custom housebuilding is set out in the Self-Build and Custom Build Housebuilding Act 2015 and amended in the Housing and Planning Act 2016, as follows:
“Self-build and custom housebuilding” means the building or completion by (a) individuals,
(b) associations or individuals, or (c) persons working with or for individuals or associations of individuals, of houses to be occupied as homes by those individuals… But it does not include the building of a house on a plot acquired from a person who builds the house wholly or mainly to plans or specifications decided or offered by that person.”
Where self-build or custom housebuilding is proposed, the council will need to be satisfied that the proposal meets this definition, including evidence that the initial owner of the home has had primary input into its final design and layout. Applications which meet the definition of self-build and custom housebuilding can be counted toward the provision of permissions or serviced plots that the council must permit based on demand from Part 1 of the self-build and custom housebuilding register.
What is Bromley Council’s role in self-build and custom housebuilding?
The government has set two duties for local authorities to support self and custom build:
- The council is required to keep a register or those individuals or associations of individuals who are seeking to acquire serviced plots of land in the authority’s area for their own self-build and custom house building. This register is an indicator of demand for self- build in the area and should, along with other information, inform the council’s work on future housing need and supply. The register is split into two parts: entries on Part 1 of the register count towards the number of suitable serviced plots that the council must grant development permission for. Entries on Part 2 do not count towards the requirement for serviced plots, but the Council must have regard to the entries on Part 2 when carrying out planning, housing, land disposal and regeneration functions.
- The council also has a duty to grant planning permission for enough suitable serviced plots of land to meet the demand for self-build and custom housebuilding in its area. The level of demand is established by reference to the number of entries on Part 1 of the self- build and custom housebuilding register during a “base period”. This is a period beginning on 31st October one year and ending on 30 October the following year. The council has three years from the end of the base period to grant permission for the equivalent number of plots as there are entries on the register for a particular base period.
In November 2020, the Bromley Development Control Committee agreed the introduction of a local connection test, to be used to assess future applications for entry onto Part 1 of the Bromley self-build and custom housebuilding register.
How do I apply to be on the register?
Bromley’s self-build and custom housebuilding register is divided into two parts.
In order to be entered on Part 1 of the register, applicants must address criteria set out in the Regulations, confirming that they are aged 18 or over; are a British, European Economic Area (EEA) or Swiss Citizen; and are seeking (either alone or with others) to acquire a serviced plot of land in the London Borough of Bromley to build a house to occupy as their sole or main residence. For applications from an association of individuals, this information must be provided for all individuals.
Applicants for Part 1 must also meet the ‘local connection test’ which requires applicants to demonstrate a local connection to the borough (an exception applies to persons in the service, or who have been in recent service of, the regular armed forces of The Crown).
A local connection must be demonstrated by providing documents to evidence that the individual applicant (or each individual where an association of individuals applies) has been resident in the borough for a continuous period of five years, up to and including the day of your application for entry in the register. (Note – five years, not just your proof of your current residency). Suitable documentation to evidence this could include council tax bill, utility bills, other lease agreements or any other relevant information which definitively proves residency over the specified period. Until the documentation for the five year period is provided, the application can only be considered for entry onto Part 2 of the register rather than Part 1.
In order to be entered on Part 2 of the register, applicants must address criteria set out in the Regulations, confirming that they are 18 or over, are a British, European Economic Area (EEA) or Swiss Citizen; and are seeking (either alone or with others) to acquire a serviced plot of land in the London Borough of Bromley to build a house to occupy as their sole or main residence. For applications from an association of individuals, this information must be provided for all individuals.
What happens next?
Applicants should provide all the necessary information with the completed application form, to allow for applications to be fully assessed.
Following receipt of your application we will assess the information you have provided and confirm in writing if you are, or are not, eligible for entry on Part 1 or Part 2 of the register. If there is insufficient information to allow for an application to be fully assessed, this may result in applications being refused.