Toggle menu

Self and custom build home proposal

The most significant barrier for people who aspire to build their own home is finding a suitable building plot which is affordable, this is closely followed by the process of obtaining planning permission and undertaking works to service the plots.             

The lack of supply of self and custom build (SCB) plots in Sunderland is dramatically pushing up the price of any plots that become available making SCB development both unaffordable for the majority of people and un-mortgageable as the value of the completed home is typically less than the land and build costs.

The council has been exploring innovative ways to help address some of the barriers faced by individuals and families who want to build their own homes, including releasing land for self and custom build development, helping establish relationships between plot purchasers to share skills and resource or collectively seeking more financially competitive rates on borrowing or works.

The council are consulting on the potential of securing outline planning permission on the two identified development sites to provide up to 70 SCB plots. The council will then procure the delivery of the required infrastructure works i.e. highways, drainage, utilities, ecology and appointing a sales agent to sell serviced development plots to prospective purchasers which satisfy appropriate assessment criteria.

There will be a design code prepared for each site. The design code will provide high level guidance on what can/cannot be built on site. The design code will ensure the SCB developments align with the council's quality, sustainability, and low carbon ambitions.  

In terms of self-build purchasers, it will be the responsibility of the purchaser to appoint an architect and submit a planning application, with a detailed design for their proposed home.

The council will potentially sell several plots to a small/medium-sized developer to provide 'custom build developments', tailored to the buyer's preferences, the homes will be built by the developer on the behalf of the purchasers, ready for the owner to complete. 

Custom build can be the preferred option as many of the challenges that come with self-build can be taken on by a developer, and homes can be handed over ready to move into.


What are the benefits of self-build and custom housebuilding?

Self-build or custom build helps to diversify the housing market and increase consumer choice. Self-build and custom housebuilders choose the design and layout of their home and can be innovative in both its design and construction.

How do you register an interest for one of the plots

At this stage the council are only looking to obtain feedback on the proposals and in particular the two sites identified. If either of the sites do progress, then the council will be appointing an external estate agent to self the sites in an open and transparent way.  

How do I register on the council's self-build register?

If you would like to express your interest in SCB and the two potential sites, please register on SCC's SCB register following the link below:

Self Build and Custom Build Register - Sunderland City Council

Who is eligible to register? 

You will need to meet eligibility criteria in order to register. An individual is eligible for entry on the register if they are: 

  • Aged 18 or over
  • A British Citizen, a national of an EEA State other than the United Kingdom, or a national of Switzerland; and 
  • Seeking (either alone or with others) to acquire a serviced plot

An association is eligible for entry in the register if each member of the association meets all of the eligibility requirements for an individual set out above. 

How do I find out more about SCB?

There are many knowledge base websites that can help you on your self and custom build journey. The companies and organisations listed below are external to Sunderland City Council and have been provided for information purposes. The list is not exhaustive and should be used as a guide. The list highlights only a small number of websites that may help you learn about self and custom build opportunities. 


Share this page

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share by email