Warminster in focus during National Custom & Self Build Week
With self and custom build housing high on the political agenda, this year’s National Custom & Self-Build Week, 3rd-11th of May, promoted by the Swindon based National Self-Build Association, will attract more attention than ever before.
Government policy has swung behind the self and custom build sector as part of the solution to the housing supply crisis, in recognition that volume house builders are not supplying the range of property to satisfy a changing market. Recent announcements including financial incentives proposed in the Budget promise unprecedented support for the sector. A new custom-build scheme proposed for Warminster could see Wiltshire at the forefront of delivering this locally-focussed and affordable housing alternative which gives homeowners much greater involvement in the house they live in.
Committed to providing self and custom build opportunities in the county, HPH Ltd has teamed up with HAB Housing, pioneers of custom build housing founded by Kevin McCloud.
The proposal, on land owned by HPH Ltd at the junction of Boreham Road and Bishopstrow Road, is for a custom build housing scheme of 35 individually-designed houses. The plans for the site, which was previously subject to a Neighbourhood Development Order (NDO) trial for self-build homes, would provide buyers with customised options to create a home suited to their specific needs. It would also maximise the benefits of the riverside setting and create new public open spaces and facilities for the wider community to enjoy.
Lindsay Holdoway, Managing Director of HPH, said “We are pleased to have teamed up with HAB to submit an application for the development of the site with sustainably constructed, custom-build homes, and to have already obtained support for the plans from Warminster Town Council. We have ensured that the plans are informed as much as possible by feedback from the initial NDO community consultation, at which the principle of self-build received a good level of support from local people.”
The proposals at Boreham Road include the creation of an ecology zone around the site perimeter, including protection and enhancement of the riverside corridor.
The Government’s 2014 Budget included several measures designed to encourage people to build their own homes, such as a £150 million fund to provide loans to self-builders. The Government also announced that it would investigate making the Help to Buy equity loan scheme available for custom build, and that it would consult on creating a new ‘Right to Build’ - giving custom builders a right to a plot of land from Councils. In addition, the Government has indicated that self-build sector will be excluded from the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) which will further help the sector compete with the large, volume house builders
Mr Holdoway said, “HPH and HAB are proposing a low-density development in contrast to high-density developments elsewhere in Warminster and it is clear that our proposals are very much in line with Government thinking. Furthermore the provision of custom-build homes in Warminster will assist Wiltshire Council in addressing the requirement now placed on them to provide custom-build plots and go some way towards the additional 300 homes required in Warminster in line with the latest Core Strategy figures.”