Since 2016 the council has maintained a combined Self-Build and Custom Housebuilding Register. This provides us with data to better understand the demand for this type of housing in the area and plan for future needs.
The Self-build and Custom Housebuilding Act 2015 (the Act) and Planning Practice Guidance states that Local Authorities that maintain a Register can implement a local connection test. This would mean the Register would include two separate parts:
The Act places a duty on the Council to grant enough ‘development permissions of serviced plots of land' to meet the demand shown in Part 1 of the Register (but not specifically for those on the Register). The entries on Part 1 together with the entries on Part 2 give the Council an indication of the overall interest in self-build and custom housebuilding.
This means, for example, in plan-making the starting point for establishing overall demand for self-build and custom housebuilding would be the number of registrants on Part 1 and Part 2 of the register. To ascertain the Council's duty, we need to know the number of entries with a local connection. Therefore, we need to know how many of the people registered have a local connection.
When people currently join our Self-Build and Custom Housebuilding Register, the questions asked are not precise enough to justify setting up two separate parts of the register.
There are currently over 300 entries on the combined Register. This number has the potential to increase significantly before the emerging South Warwickshire Local Plan is adopted and providing sufficient serviced plots of land could be difficult to accommodate given the various constraints, including environmental designations across the District. As such, introducing a local connection eligibility would enable us to prioritise meeting the housing needs of local people.
We propose to apply the following eligibility criteria for entry on Part 1 of the Register. You must meet at least one of the following criteria:
The consultation ran from Monday 24 July 2023 through to 5pm on Friday 11 August 2023. The summary of responses to the consultation will be presented to the Council's Cabinet, which will decide whether a local connection eligibility test should be introduced. If the local connection eligibility test is adopted, all individuals and associations registered will be asked to re-register. The original date of entrance on the register will be honoured.