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Task Force promotes community-led housing with awards of free advice

Following a call for applications earlier in the year, the Right to Build Task Force has awarded five organisations free help in the form of tailored expert advice.

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Top tips

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Get inspired by Netherland's Custom and Self-build homes

RTBTaskForce_-5SpoorZoneDelft__0004_IMG_9362.jpg

You may not be aware of the Right to Build Task Force, but it's a body set up by NaCSBA to help professionals, such as council's planning and housing teams, architects, landowners and developers and more create opportunities for Custom Build in the UK. In addition, the Task Force also supports community-led housing groups, such as cohousing and Community Land Trusts, helping groups progress their dream.

What this means for you is that it works to create more developments for Custom Build and Self Build, making the dream a reality for more people.

The Task Force recently arranged a trip to the Netherlands to enable these stakeholders to experience a range of Custom and Self Build in the flesh. It was a chance to experience the range of homes available, from stand-alone homes to apartments that people can kit out themselves. 

Why the Netherlands? Well, they've been at it longer than we have, and have developed some exciting models and approaches.

These include lots of Custom Builds, from stand-alone homes to terraces of town houses, as well as new approaches such as refurbishment opportunties, where old buildings are repuporsed, creating empty shells for people to turn into apartments, as well as community-led schemes. They even have a Custom Build development with floating pontoon plots!

In the Netherlands, the national and local government actively support the sector, which helps it deliver about 15 per cent of total new homes. 

While, the UK produces roughly 14,000 Custom and Self-build homes a year, in many European countries the route creates around half of all new homes built, so it shows the potential for us in the UK. 

Many people are confused about Custom Build, but really it's a version of self-building with the challenges of finding land, obtaining planning and putting in the infrastructure in, such as roads and services, taken care of.

Effectively, this makes it a much easier route to your own grand design. Due to the nature of Custom Build, many developments offer numerous plot or home opportunities, which means you'll be living in a neighbourhood with like-minded people. 

The trip was sponsored by Custom Build Homes, which offers a dedicated Custom Build service, with a range of sites available for the public to buy on its website. Check out its tout video for a taste of what a Custom Build site can look like in the Netherlands.

If this vision looks good to you, sign up for your Right to Build with your local councils' registers, by visiting NaCSBA's Right to Build Portal. 

The sites visited:
AMSTERDAM
Buiksloterham - a unique area evolving from an industrial to a mixed urban area, with Self Build housing. 

Black Jack Apartments - an apartment block made up of 32 Custom Build homes for a co-operative.

Schoonschip - A new floating neighbourhood with 46 Custom Build homes.

ALMERE
Homeruskwartier - part of a huge self-build development with Self-build and Custom Build homes in a range of models, such as affordable plots and shared ownership. (Below)

 

THE HAGUE

Escamplaan - a compact neighbourhood with a mix of styles, including self-refurbishment of older buildings for Self-builders. The site includes many examples of ‘Self-refurb’ projects, where older buildings are converted into ‘plots’ for self-refurbishment. 

In addition, the tour also took in Custom Build projects in Nieuw Leiden (below) and around a replanned railway station (Main picture).

 

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