Self-build and custom-build homes

Local councils are required to keep a register of people interested in building their own home. This will help us assess the level of demand for self-build and custom-build homes in the borough.

Building bricks

There are two routes for people wanting to play a role in developing their own homes:

  • Self-build homes are where you directly organise the design and construction of your new home. This can range from a DIY self-build home, where the builder does much of the construction work themselves, to arranging an architect/contractor to design and build your home for you. Projects involving kit-home companies fall within this category.
  • Custom-build homes are where a specialist developer can help find a site, manage the construction work and deliver your new home.  

If you wish to register your interest in building your own home you need to meet the following criteria:

  • Be aged 18 or over; and
  • A British citizen, a national of an EEA state other than the UK or a national of Switzerland; and
  • Seeking to acquire a serviced plot of land (with access to a public highway and connections for electricity, water and waste water) in Guildford borough's local authority area to build a house to occupy as your sole or main residence.

Under the Self-build and Custom Housebuilding Regulations 2016 local authorities can use additional eligibility criteria for entry onto their Self-build and Custom housebuilding register.

Proposed changes to eligibility criteria

The additional eligibility criteria we are proposing to introduce are:

  • applicants have been living in the Borough for at least five years prior to their application; or
  • applicants have been working in full-time employment (greater than 16 hours per week) in the borough for at least  three years and continue to do so
  • applicants have the financial ability to purchase land for their own  self-build or custom housebuilding project

Former personnel of the armed services (who have been out of service for less than 5 years) will automatically satisfy the local connections test.

We also propose to introduce a fee of £25.00 for entry onto the register and an annual renewal fee of £10.00.

Apply to register your interest

To be placed on the register you can:

Applications must contain details of your name, address, date of birth, nationality and confirm that you are seeking a plot of land to construct a self-build or custom-build house as your sole or main residence. Details must be provided for all the individuals within an interested association and a nominated lead member. You may also wish to supply further information such as the general location, plot size and type of project that you are interested in to inform the register. To help us get a realistic idea of local demand please tell us if you are, or will be, in a financial position to fund a self-build or custom-build project.

If you are an association we require details of the number of serviced plots you are seeking in Guildford's Local Authority Area.

Applicants whom meet all of the eligibility criteria will be notified within 28 days of the date the application was received. Ineligible applicants will also be informed of the decision within 28 days of the date the application was received.

Please note, at this stage we are trying to find out how much local demand there is for self-build and custom-build housing. By registering, you are agreeing that we can use the information you provide to understand the demand for people wishing to build their own homes. The register will not be a public document but we may publish data from it. We will have regard to the information on the register when carrying out our planning, housing, land-disposal and regeneration functions.

The information requested by the Council is required solely to determine whether the applicant is eligible for entry onto the Self-build and Custom Housebuilding Register and to help the Council understand the level of demand for self-build and custom housebuilding in its administrative area. Applicants will not be added to the register if they do not provide the mandatory information requested.

Upon request, the Council will provide applicants with a copy of their personal information held in regards to the Self-build and custom housebuilding register. The Council's Planning Services department is responsible for processing the data and holding the register. All enquiries should be addressed to

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