Kevin McCloud calls for self build support

Speaking to aspiring self builders at Grand Designs Live in Birmingham, McCloud said: “Times are hard and the looming difficulties of finance, land and the loneliness of the long-distance self-builder put most people off.

“Helping people over the hurdles will need a concerted effort by local authority planning departments, developers, housing associations and mortgage companies. But the signs are there that we could see a lot more assisted self-build and community self-build in the UK.”

Some 53% of people would consider building their own home in the UK if they had the opportunity revealed a survey from the Building Societies Association.

The survey of 2,051 UK consumers showed that if barriers were lowered, a large proportion of the UK population would consider building their own home either directly or using the services of architects and contractors.

The majority, 53%, were attracted by the ability to have control over the design and layout of their home and 43% were attracted by the ability to build more cheaply than buying on the open market.

The top three barriers to self-build cited were: the potential for it to be too expensive, difficulty in getting planning permission and the availability of suitable land.

Sharing the stage at the Grand Designs Live show with McCloud, Colette Best, mortgage policy adviser at the BSA, said: “Ten years ago it was almost impossible to get a self build mortgage, but times have changed and mutual lenders are leading the way.

“Today there are more than 20 building societies that either offer a specific 'self build mortgage' or will consider financing a self build project. So for people who want to take a dream and make it a reality I'd recommend talking to their local building society.”