Self and custom housebuilding

The terms 'self-build' and 'custom-build' are used to describe situations where an individual or association of individuals is involved in creating their own home.

The amount of personal involvement will vary. For example, some self-builders physically build all or part of a home themselves.

At the other end of the scale, a developer may find a site and then seek a number of self-build clients and build their homes to their specification under a contract.

Self-build homes

Self-build describes projects where the people involved play a very significant part in the process.

They may help organise the project, commission an architect or builder, or do some of the construction or finishing off work too.

Custom-build homes

Custom-build describes a more 'hands-off' approach where a specialist developer coordinates the whole process for the people involved.

Affordable housing and rental schemes

Affordable housing may also be self-built.

In a rented custom-build scheme, tenants could be involved in self-build or agreeing to 'self-finish' homes perhaps in return for reduced rents or other benefits.

Registering your interest in self-build or custom-build homes

From 1 April 2016 we are required to assess demand for self-build and custom Housebuilding in their area and since the end of 2017 to also submit an annual return to the government indicating this demand. To do this and record your interest, you are invited to complete our application form so you can be included on our Register of Interest. From 1 April 2019 there will be a fee of £30 to enter onto the register which will keep your details on the register for one year. Should you wish to remain on the register for subsequent years there will be an annual fee of £15. This nominal sum is to cover the administrative costs associated with this work.

Eligibility for the Register

To be eligible to register your interest you must be:

  • aged 18 or over;

  • a British citizen, a national of an European Economic Area State other than the United Kingdom, or a national of Switzerland; and

  • seeking (either alone or with others) to acquire a serviced plot of land in the relevant authority's area to build a house to occupy as your sole or main residence.

If you are interested in self or custom building in Epsom and Ewell, click on the link below to fill out a short questionnaire and add your details to the register.   

To make the required payment please phone our Customer Services Team on 01372 732000. Alternatively, a cheque can be sent with the application form to the Town Hall address.   

Confirmation will be sent acknowledging receipt of form, payment and date entered onto the Epsom and Ewell Self-build and custom housebuilding register.

How we will use information from the Register

By signing up, you will help us find out more about the demand for custom build plots in the borough, where people would like their plot to be and the type of house that they would like to build. You will also be registering your interest in purchasing a plot should one become available.  We shall use the information to explore ways in which it might be possible for people and plots to be brought together.

Registration does not however guarantee that a suitable plot will be identified or become available and we do not necessarily own land which we can use to provide plots for custom build. It does not equate to being on a waiting list for a site.  We will not pass identifiable information from the Register to anyone outside the Council without the consent of the person who has registered.

We are required by the Self Building and Custom Housebuilding Act 2015 to give planning permissions for enough suitable serviced plots of land to meet the demand* for self-build and custom house building in Epsom and Ewell. This is not a requirement to provide a plot directly to each individual on the register.

Further information and advice

*The level of demand is established by the number of entries added to the register during a base period. At the end of each base period, we have 3 years in which to give an equivalent number of planning permissions to plots of land, which are suitable for self- build and custom house building, as there are entries for that base period. A plot of land can also include land that currently has a property on it which the applicant intends to demolish and rebuild.