Self-Build and Custom Housebuilding Register

Definition

Self-build and custom housebuilding covers a wide spectrum. Key is whether the initial owners of the home have primary input into its final design and layout and whether the home will be occupied by the initial owner.

Self-build is where an individual or a group of individuals purchase a plot of land to build a house to live in. Most of the work or the management of the construction is realised by the future owner.

Custom housebuilding is when key decisions about design and layout are made by the future owner(s), but an architect / builder are employed for the build. The developer may help to find a plot, manage the construction and arrange the finance. The future owner/occupier is involved from the start.

Community-led projects can also be defined as self-build.

Registering for Self-Build

The Councils need to plan for the number, location, size, and type of self-build plots that are needed across the District or the Borough. If you are interested in purchasing a plot for self-build, you can enter your details on the Self-build and Custom Housebuilding Register. By signing up to the Register the Council can understand the demand for Self or Custom build plots, which will be considered in planning decisions and the preparation of the Local Plan. You can register using the links at the bottom of the page in the relevant Local Authority. 

Re-register process

In March 2022 in the Cabinet meetings of both LDC and EBC it was decided to incorporate a Local Connection Eligibility Test. Therefore, everyone who is registered will be asked to re-register anew. You can do this by following the link at the bottom of this page. 

After the 15th August 2022 we will stop the re-registering process. People who did not re-register will be removed automatically. If you want to be registered again, you can simply sign up anew. 

If you want to be removed from the Register, you can follow the same link at the bottom of this page and answer only questions 1 and 2.

What do you need to know before registering?

Eligibility

You can register when:

  • You are over 18.
  • You are a British citizen, a national of another EEA state, or a national of Switzerland.
  • The property will be your sole and main home.

Local Connection

People with a Local Connection will be counted in Part 1 of the Register

The number of plots required by people with a local connection is important for the Council's Local Plan. The Council is required to permit sufficient plots to meet the demand evidenced by the the entries on Part 1.

You can also register when you don't have any local connection. The entries without Local Connection will be listed on Part 2. Anyone on Part 2 has the same opportunity to acquire a self-build plot as people registered on Part 1. 
 

Lewes District and the South Downs National Park (SDNP)

The Self-build and Custom Housebuilding Register only identifies the need for self-build plots in the district outside the South Downs National Park. If you want to self-build within the SDNP, for instance in Lewes Town, then you should register with the SDNP.

Access to plots

You will have to purchase your own plot. Your place on the Register doesn’t provide any entitlement to a serviced plot. 

People who are not on the Register can purchase a plot in the area as well. 

The price of a serviced plot will be comparable to current land prices. 

Commitment

By registering you do not commit yourself to undertake a self-build. However, when you are on the Register and you change your mind about your plans, we would appreciate you let us know.

The Council is not committed to offer a serviced plot to each person on the Register. The Council is committed to planning for the number of plots for the demand identified on the Register. 

Privacy

The Register will not be a public document. Your details will be treated confidential and will not be shared with anyone outside the Council.

When the Council will publish any information from the Register, for example in the Authority Monitoring Report, only anonymised data will be used.

Planning Permission

Self-build and custom build homes are subject to the same requirement for planning permission as other homes. 

Further Information on Self-Build

Here are some links to information available to help you with your self-build project.

Local Connection Eligibility

Both Eastbourne Borough Council and Lewes District Council are considering incorporating a Local Connection Eligibility Test to the Register. Individuals or associations who meet the local eligibility criteria will be entered on Part 1 of the Register, those who meet the national eligibility criteria except for a local connection will be entered on Part 2. 

On the difference between the two parts of the Register, the Planning Practice Guidance explains that the Council must count entries on Part 1 of the register towards the number of serviced plots that they must grant development permission for. Entries on Part 2 do not count towards this demand, but the council must have regard to the entries on Part 2 when carrying out planning, housing, land disposal and regenerations functions. 

The criteria for Local Connection Eligibility are: 

RESIDENCY 

  • Reside in the Lewes district as your only or principal home and have done so for the previous 2 years
  • Have resided in the Lewes district as your only or principal home for a period of at least 3 consecutive years out of the previous 5 years

WORK

  • Being employed in the district or being self-employed and provide a service related to the district, and have been so for the previous 2 years  

FAMILY

  • Have close relatives who reside in the Lewes district as their only or principal home and have done for at least the previous 5 years. 

ARMED FORCES 

  • When you have served in the Armed Forces within the previous 5 years you do not need a local connection 

Link to decision notice LDC Cabinet meeting 24/03/2022

Link to decision notice EBC Cabinet meeting 21/03/2022

Self-Build and the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL)

If you want to self-build or custom-build your home, you can apply for CIL relief. When your self or custom build house is replacing an already existing building (a house, or a barn for instance) the amount of relief depends on the net increase of floorspace you create.

For more information go to Community Infrastructure Levy charging schedule and related policies.

If you have any queries about the Register, please contact the Planning Policy team.

Privacy Notice

For further information about how the council uses your information and your rights please read our privacy notice.

Register your details

If you would like to apply for entry on the Self-build and Custom Housebuilding Register within the Lewes district please use our online form. Registration does not guarantee that a suitable plot will be identified, or become available.

Start now

Register your details

If you would like to apply for entry on the Self-build and Custom Housebuilding Register within Eastbourne please use our online form. Registration does not guarantee that a suitable plot will be identified, or become available.

Start now

If you are interested in building a home within the National Park boundary you should apply for entryonto the register held by the South Downs National Park Authority.