National Task Force announce Teignbridge to trial a new Custom and Self Build planning tool

On 8 March in Exeter, the national Right to Build Task Force announced a new partnership to support Custom and Self Build, with Teignbridge and its Greater Exeter Strategic Plan (GESP) Partners.

Teignbridge is working with the Task Force to create more serviced building plots for people on its Right to Build register. As part of this work, Teignbridge and GESP Partners will be the first local authorities to pilot a new evidence tool to plan for Custom and Self Build housing demand in the future in East Devon, Exeter, Mid Devon, Devon and Teignbridge. This will enable them to plan confidently for Custom and Self Build housing, helping them make informed planning decisions, as required by national planning policy.

Teignbridge has been at the forefront of innovative policy developments as a Government Vanguard for Custom and Self Build. Teignbridge has also been recognised nationally for its dynamic approach to housing, having been highly commended by the UK Housing Awards 2017 and more recently has been named a finalist in the Local Authority Planning Team of the Year for the Royal Town Planning Institute’s Planning Excellence Awards.

This latest initiative cements its position as one of the most forward-thinking local authorities delivering homes in custom and self build. 

Cllr Jeremy Christophers, Teignbridge District Council Leader and Deputy Task Force Ambassador said: “As a Deputy Task Force Ambassador, my role is to help people understand and embrace the benefits of Custom and Self Build. This means Teignbridge is perfectly placed to be able to pilot the Demand Assessment Tool as a way to help more people live in homes they have built themselves.

“I’m delighted to be involved. The tool is great news for Teignbridge and will help us plan more effectively for Custom and Self Build demand over a longer time period.

“Because Teignbridge District Council has been at the ‘bleeding-edge’ for 6 years, we have saved other councils a lot of time. They can learn from us and be in the same position as we are within three years, if they fully engage with the Right to Build Taskforce without delay.”

To develop the tool the Task Force has partnered with planning consultancy Three Dragons.

Mario Wolf, Director of the Right to Build Task Force, said “I am delighted that Teignbridge District Council and the GESP team have begun to work with us and our partners Three Dragons to further accelerate its ambitious local programme to support more local people to build their own homes.”

“The new tool which is being piloted for the Greater Exeter area will help councils take a longer-term view of demand for Custom and Self Build housing, so they can make better informed planning decisions for their communities.”

Richard Bacon MP, Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Self Build, Custom and Community Housebuilding and Placemaking and Ambassador for the Task Force said: “It was a pleasure to speak at the Right to Build Expo Exeter, and to learn about the exciting plans which Teignbridge District Council has to work with the Right to Build Task Force on Custom and Self Build.

“Since it implemented its 5% rule for plots on large sites, Teignbridge has been an innovator in its work for the sector, and it’s great to see the council building on this with this announcement.”

The announcement was made at the Right to Build Expo in Exeter. It was an opportunity for the Task Force to share knowledge and lessons about the sector, showcasing its work to demonstrate the potential the Right to Build registers have as a vehicle for driving the delivery of new homes. The Expo was the third in a series of events being held to help local authorities with their Right to Build duties.