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Self Build and Custom Build Register

What is Self-build and Custom build?

Self-build homes are those residential properties where you are directly involved in developing the design and/or the construction of your own home. Custom build housing means working with a specialist developer to help deliver your own home. Some common terms can be defined as:


Individuals purchase land and build their own house on a single plot. They may build the whole house or part of the house themselves or employ a builder, architect and, in some cases, a project manager to oversee the build.

Custom build

Individuals purchase land and use a specialist developer to deliver their own homes. Sometimes the specialist developer will also help in the identification and acquisition of land.

Collective custom build

Groups constitute themselves as a body to design and develop a custom build housing development which they then live in. They may build this themselves or with help from a developer to manage the project.

Developer-led custom build

A developer divides a larger site into individual plots and provides a design and build service to purchasers. This gives people a chance to customise house designs to suit their needs.


A constituted group of people choose to live in a development where each has their own house, but there is also a communal house and shared facilities. A community ethos is at the heart of this type of housing.

For the purposes of planning policy, custom and self-build dwellings share the same definition and the terms are used interchangeably.

What is the purpose of the Register?

The Government wants to enable more people to build and design their own homes and have recently published national guidance which sets out how Councils should manage the demand for self-build and custom house building. The Self Build Register will provide an indication of the demand for self and custom build homes in Bromsgrove and allow the Council to develop its housing and planning policies to support the most appropriate self and custom build projects.

As of 1st April 2016, Local Authorities are required to keep a register of individuals and associations who are interested in self-build in their area. By signing up you will help us find out more about the demand for plots in Bromsgrove and their preferred locations for this type of housing.

Please be aware that self-build homes are subject to the same requirements for planning permission as other homes. This is particularly important to note in Bromsgrove District because around 90% of the district is designated as Green Belt and as such, any new homes, irrespective of whether they are Self-build, are largely classed as inappropriate development and would not receive planning permission.


In order to be added to the Self-build Register, you must provide the Council with the following information:

  • Name
  • Address
  • Date of birth (as proof that you are over 18)
  • Nationality (to be eligible you must be a British Citizen, a national of an EEA state other than the United Kingdom, or a national of Switzerland
  • Provide confirmation that you are seeking to acquire a serviced plot of land in Bromsgrove District for your own self-build or custom house build

Local Connection Test

The Council have also decided to introduce a local connection test, as permitted through government Regulations. We therefore require any applicants to provide suitable evidence of your connection to Bromsgrove District, to explain why you have chosen the Bromsgrove area for your self-build project. This allows the Register to be split into two parts:
Part 1 – Those that provide all the required information and meet the local connection test
Part 2 – Those that provide all the required information but do not meet the local connection test

A local connection to Bromsgrove district is defined as any of the following:
(a) you are a resident in the district,
(b) you or a member of your immediate family (someone you share a home with) are employed in the district,
(c) because of a family association, or
(d) because of special circumstances.

Every application to be on the Register must be accompanied by suitable evidence of a local connection, from one of the following:
(a) Evidence of residency in the district, through submission of utility bills, Council Tax statements and/or lease agreements, or any other information which demonstrates residency beyond doubt
(b) Evidence of employment in the district, through submission of dated pay slips or a letter from your employer which includes your name and their address.
(c) A family association means you have immediate family who have lived in the area for at least five years. Immediate family is usually limited to your mother, father, siblings or grown up children. Evidence should be Council Tax statements or utility bills from an address in the district, accompanied by a statement demonstrating your relationship to the person named on the bills.
(d) Examples of special circumstances could be that you may need to live in an area to receive specialist health care or because in the past you lived in the area for a long time. Evidence will vary according to the special circumstances but should ideally be on letter-headed paper, be dated and include your name

If the evidence submitted is unsatisfactory, the Council will ask for further information. If, in the Council’s view, you fail to meet the local connection test, you will be added to Part 2 of the Register.

Where you are applying as part of an association, information must be provided for each individual.

Persons in the service of the regular armed forces of the Crown, as defined by section 374 of the Armed Forces Act 2006, are deemed to satisfy the ‘local connection’ test whilst in service and for a period of five years after leaving service. The council will require evidence of current service, or evidence of past service including the date of leaving the service.

Other useful information

It would also be helpful if you could provide:

  • The size and location of your desired self-build plot
  • The size of the property you are looking to construct
  • How soon you would ideally like to commence building
  • If the application is made by an association of individuals, the individuals' details, including a lead contact and the number of plots required

If you would like to be added to the Self-build Register, please send the above information to us by emailing

The Council's duties

The Council has a duty to keep a Register of those interested in undertaking a self-build project.  However we do not own significant amounts of land and it is not for the Council to provide you with land on which to build. We will use the information held on the Register to explore ways in which it might be possible for people and plots of land to be brought together, for instance by including appropriate policies in Local Plans or by putting you in touch with one another.

We must also work to meet the demand for self-building in the district by delivering a number of 'suitable' planning permissions that could include self-build or custom house building.

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