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Home > Housing > Self-build & Community Land Trusts

Self-build & Community Land Trusts

The Self-build and Custom Housebuilding Act 2015 places a duty on all local authorities in England to keep and have regard to a register of people who are interested in self build or custom build projects in their area. Further guidance is set out in the Self-Build & Custom Housebuilding (Register) Regulations 2016 and on the Government’s Planning Practice Guidance website.

What is Self Build? What is Custom Build? 

  • 'Self Build' covers a range of options. Typically, an individual purchases a plot of land and obtains planning permission to build a home of their own. They may undertake some or all the work themselves, employing the services of an architect, builder etc. as appropriate. Community led projects can also be defined as self build.
  • ‘Custom build’ homes are where you work with a developer as an individual or a group to help deliver your own home. The developer may help to find a plot, manage the construction and arrange the finance for your new home. This is more hands-off approach but your home will be tailored to match your individual requirements.

Register your Interest 

To understand the level of demand for custom and self build across Babergh and Mid Suffolk we have created a registration form. We will use the information you provide to explore ways in which it might be possible to bring people and plots together. Please note that registration does not guarantee that a suitable plot will become available or that one will be offered to you.

Self-build Register of Interest application

Please also note that:

  • If you already own the land and wish to build on this you do not need to register. Instead, your proposal should be dealt with through the normal planning application process.
  • To be eligible for entry onto the register, you or all members of the Group / Association you represent must be: aged 18 or over; be a British citizen, a national of an EEA State other than the UK, or a national of Switzerland and, be seeking (either alone or with others) to acquire a serviced plot of land in the relevant authority’s area to build a house to occupy as your sole or main residence

I have a plot of land and am interested in making this available to Self Builders 

We do not currently have a register of plots that landowners may be willing to make available for others to purchase / carry out a self build project of their own. If you do have a plot of land that could be made available then please feel free to contact us to discuss the matter further.

You may also be interested in the following websites…

Other options...

Community Land Trusts

These are a not for profit community-based organisation that delivers housing, workspaces or other community assets that address a need in their local area. It does this by holding the land in trust, separating its value from that of the building that stands upon it and, in the case of housing, leasing it to home owners on long leases or letting it out at an affordable rent. To find out more, Foundation East has produced a helpful Guide to CLTs . See also the National Community Lands Trust website.


This is a housing development that balances the advantages of home ownership with the benefits of shared common facilities and connections with your neighbours. These co-operative neighbourhoods are designed to encourage both social contact and individual space, and are organised, planned and managed by the residents themselves. Private homes contain all the features of conventional homes, but residents also have access to a common house with shared facilities such as a dining room, playroom, workshops and laundry. To find out more, see the UK Cohousing Network website.