Self-build and custom housebuilding register

The Self-Build and Custom Housebuilding Act 2015 places a duty on local councils in England to keep and have regard to a register of people who are interested in self-build or custom build projects in their area.

This register will help inform the council of the level of demand for self-build and custom build plots in Swindon Borough and eventually enable the council to develop a strategy for matching people to plots in their area.

The terms ‘self-build’ and ‘custom build’ are used to describe instances where individuals or groups are involved in creating their own home. The amount of personal involvement will vary.

There is no commitment to build when you join the register and equally there is no commitment from the council to provide self-build or custom build plots. 

Routes to building your own home


  • Self-build one-off home: You manage the design and construction process and undertake a fair proportion of the actual building work too
  • Contractor built one-off home: You manage the design process, select a contractor and then they take care of the construction work.
  • Kit home: You select your preferred kit home. You may have to organise the foundations; the kit home company then erects the house.
  • Independent community collaboration: You work with others to acquire a site to split up into plots, then organise the design and construction of your own home.
  • Supported community self-build group: A social landlord or the Community Self Build Agency helps you build a group of homes together.

Custom build

  • Developer built one-off home: A developer with a site and a design you like takes care of everything; to save costs, you could finish it yourself.
  • Developer led group project: A developer organises a group and builds the homes; often, to save costs, the self-builders finish them off.

Please be aware that self-build homes are subject to the same requirement for planning permission as other homes.

Type and operation of the register

We have not introduced at this stage a local connection test and effectively the register is concerned with capturing information from individuals and associations who meet the basic eligibility criteria only. 

The register therefore keeps track of general demand for self-build and custom-build housing and will inform planning policy and our overall approach to self-build and custom-housebuilding. There is no requirement for the Council to grant sufficient development permissions for serviced plots of land to meet this demand.

Once you are on the register we may be in contact with you from time to time with updates about self-build and custom build. We will keep the register under review and update it on a regular basis.

We may ask for confirmation of your continued interest in building in the Borough at certain intervals to ensure that the register remains accurate.

Please note: The register will not be made public, although we may report headline data, such as the overall demand for self-build and custom build in monitoring and data reports. 


To be eligible to go on the register you must be:

  • aged 18 or over
  • a British citizen, a national of an EEA state other than the United Kingdom or a national of Switzerland
  • seeking (either alone or with others) to acquire a serviced plot of land for your own self-build or custom housebuilding. 
  • able to pay a registration fee to Swindon Borough Council as detailed below

Costs and administration

We can set fees for the self-build register that are proportionate, reflect genuine costs incurred and do not act as a deterrent for people to be entered on the register or viewed as a mechanism to manage demand. 

The costs incurred in entering a registration include:

  • application assessment
  • follow up on registration queries
  • administering refunds for non-eligible applications
  • transferring information to the register database

The calculation of costs is based upon the departmental average per hour administrative charge plus VAT. 

The fee schedule for each application type is set out below:

  • Individuals and a couple or two of more members of one household jointly seeking to acquire a serviced plot - £103.20 (inclusive of VAT) 
  • Association of individuals or groups - £154.80 (inclusive of VAT)

Removal from the register

We will remove your details from the register within 28 days of receiving a written notification from either an individual or lead contact of an association.

Register of interest in custom and self build form

The self build portal

For further information regarding self-build, please visit the Self Build Portal website.

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