Self-build and custom housebuilding

The Government wants to enable more people to build or commission their own home. Self-build housing usually means that you are directly involved in organising the design and construction of your new home. Community-led projects and groups can also work together to develop a self-build scheme. Custom housebuilding usually means working with a specialist developer to help you create your home.

The self-build and custom housebuilding register

The Self-build and Custom Housebuilding Act 2015 places a duty on public authorities to keep a register of individuals and associations who wish to acquire serviced plots to bring forward self-build and custom housebuilding. It requires Local Authorities to keep and publicise a register to allow people to express an interest in acquiring a self-build plot, and to bear this register in mind while carrying out its functions. It also requires the authority to grant sufficient plots to meet the identified need on the register for each year, although registration does not guarantee that a suitable plot will be identified or will become available.

To apply to be on the register for Darlington Borough Council you must meet set criteria, including Local Eligibility Criteria (see below).

If you wish to be entered onto the Self-build register there are two options, to be registered on part 1 or on part 2. To be entered onto part 1 of the register you must:

  1. be aged 18 or over;
  2. be a British citizen, a national of an EEA state other than the United Kingdom, or a national of Switzerland;
  3. satisfy the conditions set out below regarding Local Eligibility Criteria;
  4. have paid any fee required by the relevant authority (see below);
  5. be seeking (either alone or with others) to acquire a service plot of land in Darlington Borough for your own self-build and custom housebuilding project.

Local Eligibility Criteria* To meet this you must be able to demonstrate that:

  1. you have been living in the Borough of Darlington for three consecutive years; or
  2. you have previously lived in Darlington Borough for 3 consecutive years within the past 10 years; or
  3. you are currently employed in Darlington Borough and have been for the past 12 consecutive months**; or
  4. you are currently self-employed, with an ongoing viable venture where work is within the Borough, and have been for the past 12 consecutive months.

A fee of £50 is required to be entered onto the register, with a subsequent annual fee of £25 for every year thereafter. Payments should be made either at the Customer Contact Centre, Darlington Borough Council, or by phone by calling Customer Services on (01325) 405777 and quoting 'Self Build Register'.

You can access the registration form by clicking the link below.

*Regular armed forces are exempt from this stipulation including once they have left the armed forces for a period equal to the length of the longest of any periods required by the test (see ‘The Self-build and Custom Housebuilding Regulations 2016’, reg 5(3)).

**Self-employment must be more than 16 hours per week and where working hours fluctuate, an average will be taken over 12 months.

If you do not meet the Local Eligibility Criteria or do not wish to pay the required fee you can apply to be on Part 2 of the register, however the Council has no duty to provide or ensure enough plots are made available for those persons on this part of the register.

Register Online