MP’s bill to help self-build surge

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Local MP Richard Bacon wants to change the law on housing – by making it easier for people to build their own.

Mr Bacon, the Conservative MP for South Norfolk, will give the second of reading of his ‘Self-Build and Custom Housebuilding Bill’ this October.

If passed, the bill would require local councils to work in the interests of potential self-builders when bringing forward housing initiatives and local plans.

Mr Bacon said such a provision would offer greater availability and choice to prospective homeowners as well as providing another option for those struggling to get on the housing ladder.

He added: “Most people will spend more money on housing than on anything else, yet paradoxically this is where they often have the least amount of choice. The choice available for food or cars or even shoes is much greater than the more limited choice of carbon-copy housing we see in many clone developments.”

A recent Ipsos MORI poll estimated that seven million people in the UK were researching building their own home, but relatively few go on to actually self-build. Figures from publication Homebuilding and Renovating estimated just 11,000 self-build projects were completed in 2012. Before the 2007-08 credit crunch, the number was between 17,000 and 18,000.