This report provides a summary of a new self-build monitoring report covering the period 30 October 2020 to 31 October 2021.
The Committee considered the Service Lead – Planning Strategy and Development Management’s report on demand for plots from the period 30 October 2020 to 31 October 2021. The period saw a continued demand with an overall 44 individuals added to the register with 26 plots consented between 31 October 2021 and 30 October 2024 highlighting there was a need to permission service plots to meet that demand.
The Service Lead – Planning Strategy and Development Management referred to the appendix to the report outlining information about budgets which suggested the majority of builders were looking to build larger properties rather than affordable housing projects and suggested this may change in the future when plots come forward through policy requirements in the Cranbrook DPD as well as the self-build policies in the Local Plan.
The Committee were supportive of the self-build monitoring report and questions raised during discussion were:
· Clarification sought from the Council’s policy perspective about how would self-builds fit within development schemes;
· Clarification sought about what was the floor area space on the self-build policy;
· It was suggested that people who want to build £1m houses must contribute to the local budget to help deliver extra services; The Service Lead – Planning Strategy and Development Management acknowledged the frustration felt and advised that all self-builds were exempt from contributing to Community Infrastructure Levy
· Need to avoid self-build homes being sold on by someone who builds houses for a living. The Service Lead – Planning Strategy and Development Management advised there was a requirement to live in self-builds for a minimum of three years (to be exempt from CIL) which the council enforce rigidly
· There is a need to make it work for all levels of income;
· There is a need to encourage and provide opportunities to people wanting to build their own homes;
· Would like to see service plots throughout the district and not just Cranbrook focussed;
· We urgently need serviced plots to introduce diversity in house designs;
· Would like to see a requirement on developers all over the district to provide serviced plots for the younger people who otherwise do not have the opportunity to get themselves on the property ladder;
· Suggestion to revisit the budget requirement for the council to look into acquiring self-build plots.
In response to the questions raised the Service Lead – Planning Strategy and Development Management acknowledged there was a need to review the council’s approach to self-build and custom build homes to help identify suitable sites to bring forward and purchase but at present the land coming forward has been quite limited over the last couple of years. He referred to Policy 41 in the new Local Plan that requires 5% of dwellings on sites of 20 homes or more to be custom or self-build plots as well as different vehicles for delivering these. He suggested the need to investigate further to reduce some of the red tape during the planning process such as a plot passport to remove the need for formal planning permission.
The Strategic Planning Committee noted:
1. The draft monitoring report and that it will be used to inform planning permission decisions (both to inform local plan production and inform decision making on planning applications);
2. That 44 individuals were added to the self-build register during the latest monitoring period (31/10/20 to 30/10/21);
3. The need to permission 26 plots suitable for self-build between 31/10/20 and 30/10/23 to meet level of demand show on Part 1 of the self-build register (between 31/10/20 and 30/10/22);
4. That the demand for self-build plots indicated on the register should be taken into account in our planning, housing, regeneration and estate functions.