We recognise that it can be hard to get a foot on the property ladder, particularly for young people. Saving for a deposit can take a long time and, even if you do have the finances in place, finding somewhere that you like and can afford in Torbay can be tricky. But there may be a solution to this issue that you haven’t considered yet – Self Build.

We support access to affordable and market housing for local people, to meet housing needs in Torbay. This includes supporting people wishing to build their own homes in Torbay.

Self-build housing, also known as Custom Build, typically involves individuals commissioning the construction of a new house from a builder, contractor or package company, or physically building a dwelling themselves. However, self build can be tailored to meet your scale of ambition and skills – whether that is building your own home from scratch or just applying the finishing touches. We are still considering what options could be available, but they might include:

  • Final-finish – where you will decorate and complete external landscaping;
  • Self-finish – you will add all fixtures and fittings, as well as decorating. You will finish walls, floors and ceilings and internal doors. You will install the kitchen and bathroom and complete external landscaping;
  • Watertight shell – with this option you will work on and complete a building that has been made watertight. You will complete all internal structures, wiring and plumbing, as well as all those things included in the ‘self-finish’ option.
  • Serviced plot – you will build your own home on a plot to which all services (electricity, sewerage, access etc) have been provided. The plot will already have detailed or outline planning permission. It also includes community-led housing projects (groups of individuals coming together to achieve the construction of multiple numbers of dwellings) and residential refurbishment projects (the conversion or regeneration or disused buildings into dwellings).

In addition, we are exploring what options might work best in Torbay, which will be informed by the ‘Self and Custom Build Interest Register’ (see below). We are also considering how self-builders can be supported, for example in providing building skills training.

The Torbay Local Plan 2012-2030 establishes a range of planning policies to manage new development in the Bay over the next 15 years or so. This includes Self build affordable housing and exception sites, which enables:

  • Affordable self-build plots and custom build opportunities to be made available as a proportion of affordable housing requirements on large housing sites
  • Opportunities for rural exception sites to be brought forward for affordable self-build housing plots

Lots of further information on self build housing is available from the National Custom & Self Build Association (NaCSBA) Right to Build Toolkit  Opens in a new window , the Government endorsed NaCSBA - Self Build Portal  Opens in a new window , and Which? - How to build your own home guide  Opens in a new window .

We support groups of persons coming together (associations), as well as individuals, to enable self build opportunities. Community Land Trusts (CLTs) are just one possible model for group self-build. CLTs are non-profit, community-based organisations that develop housing, employment space, community facilities or other assets that meet the needs of the community and are owned and controlled by the community. Assets built by a CLT should be made available at permanently affordable levels. CLTs enable people in housing need to self build affordable homes within existing settlements.

To help the us better understand the local demand for self build housing, we have created a register which records a list of individuals who are interested in opportunities to self build in Torbay.
From April 2016, the Government requires all Local Authorities to hold a register of persons (individuals or associations) who are interested
The Self and Custom Build Interest Registration Form is designed to be completed by individual households or groups of persons who are interested in building multiple self-build homes together. The form allows members of a group (associations of persons) to register their interest but please note that all individual members must complete the form separately.
If you would like further information on about potential opportunities in Torbay, please get in touch with the us via future.planning@torbay.gov.uk .