Mark Prisk: Industry needs to wake up to self build

Speaking at the Council of Mortgage Lenders’ annual conference this morning Prisk said that historically the appetite for building our own homes in the UK had been lacklustre.

Prisk said only one in 10 people would consider building their own home in the past compared to 45% of people in the US and 60% in France and Germany.

He said: "But demand for self-build in the UK is changing. People looking to build their own homes is at a record level. A recent industry survey said 53% of people want to self build and two thirds of those people want to do so in the next two years.

"It is clearly not a pie in the sky dream but a very real ambition for some people."

One of the principle restraints is finding a plot of land but community land trusts mean that groups of people can get together to build on local plots.

"We are steadliy seeing people taking up this opportunity," Prisk, said, adding: "The new community Right to Build Scheme which is literally hot off the press is going to make it even easier for custom built projects."

And he confirmed that these initiatives are being supported by local planning authorities who are looking at their own communities to identify suitable plots of land.

Prisk said: "The government is committed to making self-build and custom build a realistic option for many more people."

He said this is reflected in the government's focus on changing planning rules and creating schemes which will provide access to land.

The housing minister called on the builders, designers, planners and the mortgage industry to engage in fresh thinking to help the governement achieve its goal of doublling the size of this sector in the next decade.