Council encourages local people to join self-build housing register

July 11, 2017

Cllr Ainsley ArnoldCheshire East Council has taken steps to encourage local people to join its self-build register and help meet demand for housing in the borough.

The register has been developed by the authority since its launch in April 2016 to allow people who are interested in buying a ‘serviced plot’ – a plot of land with access to roads and utilities – the opportunity to register their interest.

The information from the register will be accessed to help the council with planning decisions in addition to assessing the demand for serviced plots.

The Self-build and Custom Housebuilding Act 2015 placed a duty on the council to establish and publicise a local register of individuals and associations. The council is also looking into the suitability of local authority-owned sites that could be developed as serviced plots and sold to those on the self-build register.

Now the council has moved to give priority to people with local connections with Cheshire East. It follows changes to the regulations last October that allow councils to introduce a ‘local connection test’ for applicants to the self-build register.

Cheshire East’s cabinet today (July 11) backed a recommendation that, to meet the new test, applicants have to live or work in Cheshire East or have an offer of employment in the borough. Members of the armed forces are not subject to the local eligibility criteria.

Councillor Ainsley Arnold, Cheshire East Council cabinet member for housing and planning, said: “I welcome this move to help ensure that local people are given priority to build their own new homes in the borough, rather than speculative applicants with no local connection to the area. 

“Self-build provides a good opportunity for people to develop a property that really matches their needs and requirements better and gives them greater control over its layout and design. 

“We as a council are fully supportive of this opportunity to bring forward more new homes in the borough to help boost the housing supply to better meet local need.”  

More information about the register and how to apply to be added to it.