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Self builds

The government wants more people to build or commission their own home. To help in this, the Self Build and Custom Build Act 2015 now requires us to keep a register of people or groups who are interested in 'serviced plots' of land for self build or custom build.

What is self and custom building?

Self building a house is where you directly organise the design and construction of your own home. Community-led projects and groups can also work together to develop a self build scheme. Self building can be done in a wide range of ways, with different levels of involvement from you as a self builder, from traditional DIY self building where you play a large part in building your own home, through hiring contractors, but buying a kit home that's erected for you.

Custom building often requires less direct involvement from you in the construction process. It is where you work with a developer who may help to find a plot, manage the construction and arrange the finance for your new home. Your home can be tailored to match your individual requirements and can be finished to a level that meets your finances or your preferences. You might want the developer to entirely complete your home or purely to build it to a level where you complete the final stages as a self builder.

More information on self building and custom building can be found on the Self Build Portal.

Our self and custom build register

Why should I apply to join the register?

  • you will help us find out more about the demand for serviced self and custom build plots in County Durham and where people would like their plot to be
  • we can use the information to explore ways in which it might be possible for people and plots to be brought together
  • we can develop our housing and planning policies to support the level of interest that is identified for serviced plots

Note: registration does not, however, guarantee that a suitable plot will be identified, or become available

We will not pass identifiable information from the register onto anyone without the written consent of the person who registered their details.

How do I apply?

To apply to be on our register, you must:

  • be aged 18 or older
  • be a British citizen, a national of an EEA State other than the United Kingdom, or a national of Switzerland
  • be seeking to buy the plot in the administrative area of County Durham to build a house to occupy as the main individual(s)
  • be seeking to use the plot to build your main home
  • be seeking a serviced plot ie one which already has access to a public highway and connections for electricity, mains water and waste water

Fill in one of our application forms:

What happens next?

Your application for entry onto the register will be determined by the Council within 28 days and you will be notified in writing.

You can contact us at any time to ask for your entry to be updated or removed.


Contact us
Spatial Policy
03000 261 908
Our address is:
  • Room 4/24
  • Durham County Council
  • County Hall
  • Durham
  • County Durham
  • United Kingdom
  • DH1 5UQ
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