Do-it-yourself housebuilding pilot announced
Published: Wednesday 26th July 17
Local people building their own homes on small, under-used council sites has taken a step closer to becoming a reality with the announcement of a pilot scheme.
Wandsworth Council’s Executive has approved plans that will give local residents the opportunity to build their own home on a small site at Whitlock Drive, near Southfields.
Successful applicants would have the opportunity to take on one of three houses that it is proposed to be built there, which is currently occupied by old garages.
Wandsworth is one of the first councils in inner London to identify a site for a self-build initiative, similar to ones set up by Islington and Enfield councils, while the Greater London Authority is establishing a team to provide advice to applicants and local authorities.
The report also sets out how the council will meet the requirements of the Government’s Self-build and Custom Housebuilding Act 2015, including providing advice to those who might wish to register an interest in building their own home.
Self-build can take a number of forms, including fitting out a property that is developed to a ‘shell and core’ state, which is what the council proposes, or residents taking on the design and construction themselves, for example by employing an architect and builder directly. Any such self-build is exempt from the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) usually charged on new developments.
Cllr Clare Salier, Cabinet Member for Housing, said: “Wandsworth has a long history of pioneering housing initiatives, such as Right to Buy, and again we are out in front among the first local authorities to pilot resident-led housebuilding in London.
"It was good to see that this initiative has cross-party support - Wandsworth needs more homes, particularly for working households vital to the local economy and to local services, and this is one of several ways the council is ensuring more are built.”
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More about Wandsworth Council’s housebuilding:
- Construction of 1,742 more shared ownership and low cost rent homes is forecast over the next few years, at sites including Wandsworth town centre and Nine Elms, Battersea
- Cllr Ravi Govindia, Leader of Wandsworth Council, is a member of the Mayor of London’s Homes for Londoners Board
- Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, referred to Wandsworth Council as a ‘fantastic example’ of local authority housebuilding during the Mayor’s Question Time of 19 October, 2016
- Wandsworth’s pioneering Hidden Homes programme has built more than 250 new council homes on under-used sites such as vacant garages, making use of 100 per cent of proceeds from Right to Buy sales of council homes, and the scheme has since been copied by other local authorities
- Construction is under way in Battersea on 57 new Hidden Homes with hundreds more on the way at sites across the borough
- More than 3,000 new homes for shared ownership, social renting, low cost rent, market rent and for sale are to be built by the council and partners at two major estate regeneration schemes in Battersea and Roehampton which guarantee newly built homes for all secure council tenants, leaseholders and freeholders on their estates
- The council’s housing strategy target is to ensure a minimum of 18,000 homes are built in Wandsworth during the next ten years