Coal mining data published

Datasets of coal mining have been published this week by the Coal Authority, including known areas of activity, abandoned mines and mine gas sites.

UK Gov GIS data

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Local Plan withdrawn due to lack of housing provision

Derbyshire Dales District Council has confirmed that its Local Plan has been withdrawn from public examination due to lack of provision of housing sites, and an additional period of public consultation seeking new sites is proposed.

Derbyshire Dales District Council writes:
Derbyshire Dales District Council is to advise the Planning Inspectorate of its intention to withdraw its pre-submission Local Plan from a current public examination.  The decision by a special full meeting of the District Council on Thursday (2 October) follows a Government Planning Inspector’s declaration that the number of new homes envisaged in the Dales Plan is too low.

At the end of July, Government Inspector Keith Holland, presiding over a two-day examination of a pre-submission draft of the Plan, decided the 4,400 dwellings the council estimated should be built locally in the period 2006-2028 was more than 2,000 homes short of what was needed.  Now the District Council is to look again at the Plan and invite local people to submit suggestions of potential housing sites that have so far not been investigated.

In a report to Thursday’s meeting, Corporate Director Paul Wilson warned that the District Council had a stark choice to make.  ‘It can either take control of the initiative now and deal with these difficult issues as swiftly as possible, thereby minimising the risk of planning by appeal across the whole of the plan area and the associated costs that that would entail,’ wrote Mr Wilson, ‘or it can take a longer period of time to consider the issues raised by the inspector through a process of positive engagement with the public, thereby affording an opportunity to fully explain the difficulty of the situation.’

Mr Wilson conceded that due to the procedural requirements involved in the withdrawal of a Local Plan, the District Council would have to take ‘a few steps back’ in the process, meaning adoption of a Local Plan for the Derbyshire Dales was probably 18 months away.  He added: ‘The council will be unable to resist applications for housing development in the interim unless any adverse impacts of doing so would significantly and demonstrably outweigh the benefits of providing land for housing.’ 

Put together by the District Council following an exhaustive consultation programme involving local residents and groups – the draft Plan sought to address local needs, especially for housing and economic development. It also protected the very special qualities of the district’s environment – both natural and built.  Submitted to the Secretary of State in May for independent examination, it had been hoped that the Plan would be approved by the end of this year, setting the policies for key development sites.

District Council Leader Councillor Lewis Rose OBE, who chaired a series of Local Plan meetings, said: ‘We’ve been preparing this Plan for several years and from the start we have listened carefully to the views of local people. I want to personally thank everyone who has contributed across our communities and appeal now for their help in identifying previously unexplored potential development sites for consideration and further public consultation.  National policy is demanding a radical solution to meeting the housing needs of the country with the target nationally to more than double the current rate of house building.  While we totally understand our residents’ desire to protect, as far as possible, greenfield sites from development, we now have no choice but to re-submit a plan that satisfies Government policy and meets its perception of the future housing needs of the Derbyshire Dales.

‘We are not alone in having to face up to this predicament and we are under no illusions that the outcome will undoubtedly displease some of our residents, but we are in the unenviable position of trying to reconcile the strongly held views of local people with a pro-growth national planning policy framework.  I can assure the communities of the Derbyshire Dales however that any decisions to allocate further land for development will only be taken following full public consultation.’

Local people will soon be invited to submit new potential site ideas in an online survey.

IHBC NewsbBlogs on local planning

Derbyshire Dales DC news

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National Piers Society calls for heritage funding changes

The National Piers Society has called for changes to heritage funding rules this week, to allow piers in private ownership to be able to access funding. 

View information on the campaign and details of recent media appearances on BBC news on the National Piers Society Facebook page

National Piers Society on Twitter

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HS2 route near Lichfield changed

Plans for the HS2 rail line route near Lichfield, Staffordshire, have been altered, the company responsible for the Government-backed project has announced.

The amended route will now pass under the A38, the West Coast Main Line and the South Staffordshire line rather than run over them on viaducts. The alignment will also be amended to remove two crossings over the Trent and Mersey Canal.

These changes reflect what many local residents and stakeholders, including the Canal & Rivers Trust, requested during the Hybrid Bill’s petitioning process.

The changes reduce the size of embankments in the area and mean large sections of the railway will run in cutting, limiting its visual impact on the landscape.

HS2 Engine for growth press release

Search Planning Portal

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IHBC’s Derby Membership Support Day: video online

Since the successful Annual School the IHBC has been using more social networking and at the latest membership support day hosted by the East Midlands Branch we created a video of delegates seeking support for their applications.

IHBC Director SeaRound House Derbyn O’Reilly said: ‘The video of delegates gives just some idea of the huge diversity of specialist interests in conservation seeking accreditation through IHBC membership.  This is a great new way to see how your needs might be supported by IHBC membership, and just how successful the day was in helping those who could make it along.’

Alison McCandlish, IHBC’s Newsblogs Consultant, said ‘We wanted to create a short piece of film to help record the events of the Derby membership event.  The footage was taken using a smartphone, then downloaded and edited with iMovie to add titles and annotations.    We hope that the film might also help others who are considering joining IHBC.’

Branches who are interested in learning how to create videos like this to showcase their own events will be able to access workshops run by IHBC.

‘Thank you again to all the volunteers who kindly took part in the video and helped us capture the essence and experiences of the day.’

IHBC newsblogs on social media work for heritage

Watch the YouTube video

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Brownfield- v- greenfield is not ‘black and white’

The Land Trust and Buglife have called upon politicians to remember that whilst the NPPF prioritises development upon brownfield land, many brownfield sites can be wildlife havens and intrinsically valuable for public use.

Buglife writes:
Let’s change our assumptions about developing land – that’s the message from national land management charity The Land Trust and Buglife, who want to remind politicians it’s not as simple as brown versus green.

Euan Hall, Chief Executive of The Land Trust, said: ‘Certainly, there are areas of brownfield that are well positioned to accommodate the UK’s housing needs, but equally, there are many brownfield sites are more valuable to society and the environment as public open space. A blinkered blanket approach is damaging.

‘Brownfield can be a great place for wildlife, a great place for society to engage with nature and reap the benefits of the open space, as well as being a resource to assist with climate change adaptation. Oliver Road Lagoons is a prime example with its wildflower-rich habitats supporting over 1,300 wildlife species, 50 of which, are classified as endangered.  This proves that brownfield should not necessarily be the first port of call for new developments.’

IHBC newsblogs on brownfield land

Land Trust on house building

Buglife article

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Panel for review of Welsh landscape designations announced

Details of the panel members who will be reviewing the designated landscapes of Wales have been announced this week by Carl Sargeant, the Minister for Natural Resources at the Welsh Government

The Welsh Government writes:
Professor Terry Marsden, Director of Cardiff University’s Sustainable Places Research Institute, will chair the independent panel which will carry out the review of the governance arrangements for Wales’ designated landscapes, Carl Sargeant, the Minister for Natural Resources has announced.  The other panel members will be John Lloyd Jones and Dr Ruth Williams.

Making the announcement, the Minister said,

‘Our designated landscapes are one of the key things that make Wales distinctive. Their landscapes, and the communities within them, are an important part of what makes Wales special environmentally, socially and culturally. In addition, they play a significant economic role with the qualities that make them special attracting many millions of visitors every year.  Given their importance, I want to ensure that our designated landscapes are best equipped to meet current and future challenges while building upon their internationally recognised status.

The review will consider whether the existing arrangements are best-placed to deliver these objectives and, if not, what changes should be made in order to achieve them.  The panel has a wealth of experience in this area and I know they will undertake a thorough review collating and weighing up the evidence and views that will be gathered over the coming months. I thank them for their commitment and look forward to reading their recommendations.’

The review will be carried out in two stages and at each stage the panel will call for evidence and seek views from stakeholders, communities within the designated landscapes and the wider general public. Evidence gathering activities including written submissions, face-to-face meetings, public workshops and an online consultation will be arranged.

Stage one will examine the designations themselves looking at the purposes of these landscapes and the merits of classifying Wales’ designated landscapes under one type of designation.

In light of stage one, stage two will consider the governance arrangements of designated landscapes. It will review governance and management arrangements, and consider the recommendations of the Commission on Public Service Governance and Delivery as part of this. It will take account of the Planning (Wales) Bill in respect of the future arrangements for planning in National Parks.

Chair of the Panel, Prof Terry Marsden said ‘I am very pleased to have been appointed Chair of this Panel along with members John Lloyd-Jones and Dr Ruth Williams. In conducting our work, and making our recommendations, it will be particularly important that we gather a variety of types of evidence from both stakeholders and members of the public so I urge all those with an interest to have their say.

‘Our protected landscapes have served the public well over at least two generations, but, as we are all aware, they now face new, more complex challenges; but also opportunities. We hope therefore that the review will be an opportunity to create a realistic vision and governance framework for Wales which will provide the basis for them to continue to deliver to the needs of our present and future generations.’ 

IHBC newsblogs on Welsh landscapes

Press release 

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HCA plans for 500 homes at former MoD barracks

The Homes and Commuities Agency (HCA) proposals for 500 homes and a construction skills training centre at a former barracks in Hampshire have been approved by councilors. 

HCA writes:
Proposals to bring hundreds of new homes, jobs and better road links to a former Ministry of Defence barracks in Whitehill and Bordon, Hampshire, have taken a big step forward after being backed by councillors.

East Hampshire District Council’s planning committee approved the Homes and Communities Agency’s outline planning application for 500 new and affordable homes and around 3 hectares of employment space at its Louisburg Barracks site.

The decision supports ambitions to build a new construction skills training centre as part of the development, to help create around 500 jobs and provide a huge economic boost for the local area. The application also included the first phase of a new relief road which enables access to the site and eases congestion around the town. Work is expected to start on the road by next spring and is supported by around £10 million in investment from the HCA.

This project is an early phase of local plans to build around 3,500 new homes and create up to 5,500 jobs as part of a sustainable new community in Whitehill and Bordon. It marks a step-change in efforts to create a new community with homes and jobs after the relocation of the Ministry of Defence training operations and around 800 of its staff from the town next year.

The HCA has already started its search for a development partner to take responsibility for working with local partners and residents to produce detailed proposals for the homes and employment space at Louisburg next year.

Kevin Bourner, HCA head of area, said:

‘This is another positive step towards bringing forward real and positive change in Whitehill and Bordon, with high quality new homes and jobs that the area needs. We have never underestimated the scale of the task needed to make the most of the opportunity afforded when the MoD leaves the area.  The progress we have made here demonstrates that we are taking the right steps towards achieving this ambition. There’s a lot of work that still needs to be done and we remain committed to bringing forward these exciting and transformational plans for the area.’

Cllr Richard Millard, East Hampshire District Council’s Deputy Leader and Portfolio Holder for Commercial Contracts, said:

‘This is the second major planning application to be approved as part of the town’s regeneration and it shows just how far this project has progressed over the last few months. This scheme will radically transform the former Army barracks into a thriving community with 500 much-needed homes and jobs, and contribute significantly to a ‘step change’ in the lives of everyone in Whitehill and Bordon. It is a really exciting time for Whitehill and Bordon residents and I can’t wait to see work starting on the site.’

The latest approval from councillors comes after plans for 100 new homes and employment space at the former Quebec Barracks were backed by East Hampshire Council in July.

The approval is subject to completion of a legal agreement which will confirm delivery of contributions towards additional benefits including schools, sport, leisure and open space, transport and community facilities. A development partner for Louisburg will be selected by the HCA before the end of the year.  

HCA press release

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Waterways archive released online

Archival images and research materials relating to the waterways of the UK have been released online for the first time by the Canal and River Trust. 

The Canal and River Trust writes:
We’ve digitally published over 37,000 archive records and over 22,000 historic images from our archives for the first time ever. The £50,000 project is the first phase of a major project to open up public access to the national waterways collection. 

The Waterways Archive is housed at the National Waterways Museum, Ellesmere Port and is the largest archive of waterway-related materials in the country. This important collection, which holds a wide range of primary material relating to the history of Britain’s canals and inland waterways, will be available for the public to access online.

Margaret Harrison, collections manager, Canal & River Trust said: “We’re so excited to be able give the public online access to these images for the first time. The website includes over 20,000 archive images many of which help show the often hidden social history of the canals; the navigators who built them; the boating families that traded on them; and more recently the volunteers who campaigned to save them. These images sit alongside engineering plans, toll tickets, songs and maps amongst others.”

The archive images will be available for the public to purchase later in the year and we are already putting in place plans to digitise a further 15,000 images.  Wendy Capelle, head of museums and attractions, Canal & River Trust said: ‘The Canal & River Trust cares for an extraordinary treasure-trove of historic images, documents and artefacts that trace the story of the nation’s inland waterways as far back as the 17th century.  This project starts to throw some light on our wonderful collection and make it more accessible for students, historians and enthusiasts.’ 

Explore the archive

IHBC newsblogs on canals and waterways

IHBC newsblogs on archives

Press release

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£1.35m Creative Scotland funding boost for heritage projects

Creative Scotland have announced three awards for building works and public art in Dumfries, Campbeltown and work around the River Ness.

Creative Scotland writes:
Creative Scotland is pleased to confirm more than £1.35m Large Capital Funding, for buildings and a public art project, supporting three organisations to realise ambitious plans across Scotland.

Awards will go towards the creation of Scotland’s first centre for children’s literature inspired by JM Barrie’s Peter Pan in Dumfries and Galloway; and the restoration and upgrading of one of the UK’s oldest cinemas in Campbeltown, Argyll and Bute.  Funding will also go towards a major public art commission in the Highlands. New artworks situated along the banks of the River Ness will bring new perspective and profile to this inspiring Scottish location.  These awards are confirmation of Stage Two Large Capital Awards that will enable the projects to progress the delivery of their final plans. 

Philip Deverell, Director of Strategy at Creative Scotland, said: ‘The cultural infrastructure of Scotland will be boosted by these ambitious and inspiring projects which have been a number of years in fruition. Each is unique to their location, drawing on a range of inspirations whether historical, from the landscape or from the local community.  Each will help to ensure that artists and audiences, across Scotland, can continue to present, access and enjoy a range of artistic and creative experiences.

Campbeltown Community Business, Campbeltown Picture House, Argyll & Bute. one of the UK’s oldest cinemas, first opening its doors in 1913, will be restored and a second screen and modern café and foyer area will be created. The refurbishment will recognise and maintain the historic nature of the A listed auditorium protecting its cultural heritage whilst also enabling the cinema to increase the diversity of programming within this rural part of the West of Scotland. (Stage 2 award £400,000 – Development funding of £33,000 awarded in Sept 2012 and 2014) 

Jane Mayo, Chairman of Campbeltown Community Business, said:
‘The redeveloped Picture House will provide the local community and visitors with a magnificent historic cinema equipped to modern standards and complemented by new facilities. The programme of films and live relays of international quality cultural performances, together with activities based on the heritage of the building and the evolution of cinema, will allow The Picture House truly to become Kintyre’s cultural and entertainment hub.   The reopened cinema will provide employment and play an important part in the promotion of Kintyre as a unique visitor destination.’

The Peter Pan Moat Brae Trust will create Scotland’s first centre for Children’s Literature and Story-telling, in Dumfries & Galloway. The project is inspired by J M Barrie and his world famous character Peter Pan. Barrie spent five years at school at Dumfries Academy from the ages of 13-18 and Moat Brae house and gardens were acknowledged by Barrie as being ‘the genesis’ for his classic tale. The award will enable the Trust to restore the house and the garden will be re-invented as JM Barrie’s Neverland. (Stage 2 award £687,500 – Development funding of £45,000 awarded in Sept 2012) 

Cathy Agnew, the Trust’s Project Director, said: ‘To have news of this level of arts investment into Dumfries at the start of our capital campaign, is fantastic. It is a great vote of confidence in the quality of our plans and designs to celebrate the Birthplace of Peter Pan.’

Four artists have been commissioned by Highland Council to create new public art pieces as part of the area’s Ness River Public Art Programme. Artists will create four new pieces of work along the riverbank that will form unique spaces where people can quietly experience new ways of interacting with the landscape. Artists selected so far for the project include Dress for the Weather and Annie Cattrell. This project will use the opportunity brought about by the River Ness flood prevention scheme to enhance the environment around the river bank.  (Stage 2 award £259,000 – Development funding of £46,000 awarded in Sept 2012) 

Councillor Ken Gowans, Chair of The Highland Council’s ICArts Working Group said: ‘This is a great opportunity for the City of Inverness and the Highlands to establish permanent high quality Public Art as an integral part of the major Flood Alleviation Scheme for the City currently underway and which will enhance everyone’s connections with the River Ness. We are most grateful for the major contribution made by Creative Scotland to this partnership project which also involves Highlands and Islands Enterprise, Inverness Common Good Fund and The Highland Council.’

Campbeltown Picture House

Moat Brae Peter Pan project

IHBC newsblogs on funding for heritage

Creative Scotland press release

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IHBC welcomes fine for failure to comply with enforcement notice

Cheltenham Magistrates Court have issued a fine against the owners of a listed barn who refused to comply with an enforcement notice to remove unauthorised solar panels.

Cheltenham Magistrates’ Court announced that a discounted fine would be given for the early guilty plea, but that the matter was regarded as especially serious as the parties concerned are estate agents and should have been more knowledgeable about the rules and regulations on planning.

Bob Kindred, IHBC’s Research Consultant said ‘This case illustrates how important it is that all and any professionals involved with buildings should fully understand the law with regard to historic building protection and the consequences and penalties of failing to adhere to its clear requirements.  This is particularly so where the defendants are listed building owners themselves and even more so when advising other owners and prospective purchasers in the conduct of their everyday business.’ 

The ‘Gloucestershire Echo’ has reported that the owners of an estate agents in Cheltenham have been fined for failure to comply with a listed building enforcement notice requiring the removal of solar panels from a listed barn which they own in Charlton Kings. 

IHBC newsblogs on enforcement

Gloucestershire Echo article

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IHBC North Branch ‘recession conservation’ event

IHBC North Event FlyerIHBC North Branch is holding a training event exploring the funding of conservation-led regeneration in a recession, offering a reduced rate for member bookings, which will take place on 24 October.

The ‘Partnership approaches to heritage at risk: community led conservation in austere times’ event is to be based in the North Pennines and will explore how local people and conservation professionals are working together to tackle a collection of sites including: a Grade II* listed watermill, the redundant Nenthead Methodist chapel and Alston Conservation Area (which is on the national Heritage At Risk register).  The day also includes a journey by vintage coach.

The day costs £25 for members and £35 for non members.

View more details on the IHBC Events Calendar and reserve your place via the IHBC North Branch’s page (click on Branch Meeting Papers)

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Scottish Parliament Briefing on the Community Empowerment (Scotland) Bill

A parliamentary (SPiCE) briefing is now available which sets out the history and development of the Community Empowerment (Scotland) Bill and the planned areas for reform.

The Scottish Parliament writes:
This Briefing summarises and analyses the key provisions in the Community Empowerment (Scotland) Bill, introduced in the Parliament on 11 June 2014. The Bill seeks to reform areas such as community planning, community right to buy land, involvement of communities in public service delivery and communities taking on public assets.

Scottish Parliament Information Centre (SPiCE) briefing

Local Government and Regeneration Committee meeting (1/10/2014)

Community Empowerment Bill details

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Reminder: deadline for Europa Nostra awards approaching

The closing date for entries to the prestigious Europa Nostra awards is approaching, with a deadline for entries of 15 October.

Europa Nostra writes:
Eligible areas are:

  • Architectural Heritage: single buildings or groups of buildings in rural or urban setting;
  • Building additions or alterations, or new building projects within historic areas;
  • Industrial and engineering structures and sites;
  • Cultural landscapes: historic urban environments or townscapes, city or town squares and streetscapes;
  • Historic parks and gardens, larger areas of designed landscape or of cultural, environmental and/or agricultural significance;
  • Archaeological sites, including underwater archaeology;
  • Works of art and collections: collections of artistic and historic significance or old works of art;
  • Intangible cultural heritage as practices, representations, expressions, as well as the knowledge and skills that communities, groups and, in some cases, individuals recognise as part of their cultural heritage

IHBC newsblogs on Europa Nostra

View details of other awards, bursaries and scholarships on the IHBC awards page

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Hampshire development surrounding Grade II listed property approved

A proposal for 425 homes in Hampshire within the setting of a listed building has been upheld on appeal 

Planning Portal writes:
Communities Secretary Eric Pickles has agreed with the inspector who held a recovered appeal over a 425-dwelling scheme on farmland surrounding Grade II-listed farm buildings in Hampshire and concluded the scheme should be allowed.

Developer Crudance Strategic Ltd had applied to Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council for planning permission to build the residential development including the provision of 40 per cent affordable homes and six hectares of public open space on farmland at Chineham, near Basingstoke. The council failed to make a decision within the prescribed period.

The Secretary of State’s decision letter noted that the council was unable to demonstrate a deliverable five-year supply of housing land and that the site had been identified for new homes – albeit fewer than in the proposal –  in the emerging local plan review.

Pickles acknowledged the harm the proposals would cause to the setting of a Grade II-listed 17th and 18th century farm complex at the existing Razors Farm.

However, like the inspector, the Secretary of State concluded that the adverse impacts of the proposals “did not come close to significantly outweighing the benefits”.

Pickles gave “significant weight” to the provision of homes and a significant proportion of affordable housing in an area with a “significant and serious shortfall in housing” and the economic benefits, including construction jobs, New Homes Bonus funding and increased local spending, that would result from allowing the scheme. 

Search Planning Portal

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Eleven ‘right to build’ areas announced

The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) has announced the eleven areas across the country which will benefit from the new ‘right to build’ self build scheme.

DCLG writes:
Eleven areas across the country will benefit from the latest government-backed opportunity to help aspiring custom or self-builders get their projects off the ground, under plans announced today (30 September 2014) by Brandon Lewis.  The Housing Minister said these 11 areas would be at the forefront of the government’s efforts to help those looking to build their own homes turn their dreams into reality.

The Right to Build is the latest in a range of measures designed to help those looking to build their own home. These 11 chosen areas will establish and maintain a register of prospective custom and self-builders in the area and begin to identify shovel-ready sites for those on the register – becoming the first to offer local people the right to design and build their own home.

Housing Minister Brandon Lewis said: ‘We’re determined to help anyone who aspires to own their own home – whether that’s buying on the open market through schemes like our Help to Buy, or to build.  That’s why from today, 11 areas across the country will be the first to offer a new Right to Build, one of a range of measures we’re taking to ensure anyone who wants to build their own home has the opportunity and help they need to do so.  This is one of a range of measures we’re taking to help aspiring homeowners, but also to get Britain building – and thanks to our efforts, house building levels are at their highest since 2007 and rising’.

House building is at the heart of the government’s long-term economic plan, including supporting people to design and build their own homes – often at a lower cost than buying an existing property.

Ministers are introducing the Right to Build to help more people to do this: aspiring custom or self-builders will be able to register their interest with the council, who will then be required to offer suitable serviced plots for them that are for sale at market value.

This will not be a free-for-all – those looking to build will still need to go through the normal planning application process. But it will open up the opportunity to self-build beyond those with “grand designs” so even more people can realise their self-build ambitions.

These 11 areas announced today will be the first to offer this new right to their residents from today, and will each receive a share of £550 000 to do it. They are:

  • Cherwell District Council, who will receive £90,000 and are committed to deliver 2,000 custom-build homes over the next 10 years
  • South Cambridgeshire District Council, who will receive £50,000 and will bring forward at least 100 plots of land for custom builders and to begin selling land from January 2015
  • Teignbridge District Council, who will receive £100,000 and will be implementing a ground breaking ‘5% self-build’ policy in their newly adopted Local Plan so 5% of all new homes in the area are delivered by custom and self-builders
  • Shropshire Council, who will receive £10,200 to bring forward 6 hectares of land for self-builders by linking with Stoke Council and local social landlords to find suitable plots
  • Oldham Metropolitan Borough Council, who will receive £15,000 to begin bringing land forward for sale in autumn 2014 by using formerly-developed council-owned land to support aspiring self-builders in the area
  • West Lindsey District Council, who will receive £5,000 to make self-build plots available on previously-developed public sector land in the area
  • Exmoor and Dartmoor National Park Authorities, who will receive £28,000 to explore how local self-builders can be helped while protecting important countryside
  • Pendle Borough Council, who will receive £46,000 to deliver self-build plots in the area and explore how this could be used to further deliver affordable homes
  • Sheffield City Council, who will receive just under £100,000 to further deliver over 800 self-build sites, and look to support groups planning their own custom builds
  • South Norfolk District Council, who will receive £25,000 to work with Saffron Housing Association in the area to deliver 40-60 custom build plots
  • Stoke-on-Trent City Council, who will bring forward 72 hectares of land for local self-builders in the area

These 11 areas will now test the Right to Build to help ultimately increase the size of the custom and self-build sector.  This new measure is in line with proposals included in a Private Member’s Bill currently going through Parliament by MP for South Norfolk Richard Bacon, which would place a duty on local councils to keep a register of individuals who have expressed an interest in finding land for their self-build projects.  This first wave of areas will form part of a consultation on Right to Build. It will be decided whether the changes should be extended across the country later this year.   This is one of a range of measures the government has introduced to help aspiring custom and self-builders.

Others include:

  • a £150 million investment to bring delivery of up to 10,000 serviced plots – shovel-ready sites where a developer can be hired to build a home
  • making custom builders exempt from paying the community infrastructure levy
  • introducing a new £30 million Custom Build Homes Fund, which makes available repayable finance for larger multi-unit projects and grant funding for community self-builders
  • planning guidance which makes clear that councils should help custom-builders and establish demand in their area

UK Gov press release

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