We should all build our own homes, says Pickles: Communities Secretary wants people to be offered subsidies for creating their dream property

  • Eric Pickles wants Britain to be turned into a 'nation of self-builders'
  • Communities Secretary says UK should emulate Austria, Belgium and Sweden in rewarding those who dare to build their own homes
  • Suggests too many people see home building as the 'preserve of the elite'

By Gerri Peev

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Eric Pickles said the UK should emulate Austria, Belgium and Sweden in rewarding those who dared to build their own homes

Eric Pickles said the UK should emulate Austria, Belgium and Sweden in rewarding those who dared to build their own homes

Britain should be turned into a 'nation of self-builders' by offering people subsidies for creating their own homes, the Communities and Local Government Secretary Eric Pickles has said.

Helping tens of thousands of people build their dream properties would stop them from putting up 'homogeneous, pasteurised housing', he claimed.

The senior Tory said the UK should emulate Austria, Belgium and Sweden in rewarding those who dared to build their own homes.

He revealed that self-builders would have access to a £47 billion loan scheme.

Mr Pickles suggested too many people watch Grand Designs and believe building a home was the 'preserve of the elite'.

He said he wanted to double the number of self-build projects in the coming years, up from 7,000 today.

Ministers want 20 per cent of homes to be self-build projects, up from ten per cent last year.

Councils would be encouraged to release land they were holding to residents hoping to self-build.

Those already living in the countryside would be less likely to oppose innovative, small-scale developments than large-scale estates, he said.

Local authorities would also be urged to reduce red tape so that self-builders did not have to 'bang their heads against walls' to get planning permission.

Anyone building their own home would not have to pay a community infrastructure levy, or planning tariffs, slashing the cost of self-building by thousands of pounds.

 

'We’re taking practical steps which will unlock the potential and will turn our country, which is famously a nation of shopkeepers, to a nation of self-builders too,' Mr Pickles said.

'In some countries - Austria, Belgium, Sweden - as much as half of the new housing is custom built. But they have a system which supports and encourages and rewards self building. We must do likewise.'

Mr Pickles said he wanted to double the number of self-build projects in the coming years, up from 7,000 today

Mr Pickles said he wanted to double the number of self-build projects in the coming years, up from 7,000 today

He added that the government was working to get self-builders access to finance.

'Because we believe that custom building should not be the preserve of the elite and the wealthy, we’re offering £47billion worth of loans to aspiring self builders,' he said.

'This Government believes in supporting ambition. The more people who build their own homes the better.'

Mr Pickles added that the 'level of resistance to self-build small development is much less than some of the larger developments'.

Families across Britain should in future be able to design and create a property regardless of how much money they have to spend, he said.

Mr Pickles also ruled out 'imposing' new garden cities on parts of the country to solve the housing crisis.

Planning Minister Nick Boles has previously called for increasing the amount of developed land in England by a third. He said that this would address the housing shortage. The gap would be filled by building 'beautiful' housing that was sensitive to the local area.

The comments below have not been moderated.

Just look at another story of home ownership in today's pages. As you pay your rates and home repair bills and DIY bills, plus insurances etc. Leave all that to the fools who think paying with their home near the end of their lives is a good idea, whilst those who never bothered still get full free support. Who would be so stupid ? Be free, to get on your bike when finding work gets hard, claim home rental costs when you're unemployed or redundant, why tie yourself down in one place ? You might even try a spell abroad, be a free spirit, travel a bit, worry about making your support benefits claims later, why provide a great lump of money for a government to take off you, at the end of your life. Who is stupid enough to do that ?

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One of the biggest drawbacks is the cost of the land. Rather than build on green belt, ring fence inner city waste land for self build at knock down prices, ensuring that only on be plot can be purchased by individuals.

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Good thing the Conservative government has so much taxpayers money to give away now it's fixed the economy, the NHS, the potholed roads and cut the cost of energy.

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We looked into it but were discouraged by the difficulty in finding a suitable plot of land (property developers snap up the best ones). How does Eric propose to fix that?

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He should tell that to the couple in Pembroke who have been told to pull their house down because of planning regulations.

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I would love a pre-pack home!

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Everyone does in Thailand it is the best and cheapest way, but impossible in the UK due to too much interference from the planning department, something we don't have in Thailand

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I have to say, for once i agree with Mr Pickles. Not only would this help stimulate the economy and suppport small businesses, but people in the future would have some interesting architecture to look back on rather than the shoddily made generic houses being built at the moment.

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I wonder if Mr pickles built his own?.....Somehow I doubt it !!!!

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ha ha as An American woman, living in London, I have to say, that if we scooped out this Pickles man, we could probably house several families. Seriously though, people in this country need to start watching their weight. It is unhealthy and unsightly.

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As a Briton living in America, I have to say Eric Pickles is positively slim compared to my neighbours.

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