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Shapps targets self-build revolution

Shapps targets self-build revolution

Category: Mortgages

Updated: 15/05/2012
First Published: 14/05/2012

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This article was correct at the time of publication. It is now over 6 months old so the content may be out of date.

Housing Minister Grant Shapps has reiterated his desire to revolutionise the self-build housing market in the UK and has pledged a £30 million fund to help do so.

Mr Shapps revealed the fund will be made available to fund self-builders looking to build a number of self-build homes in one area.

These types of projects have been held back in the UK because of the reluctance of lenders to provide finance.

However, self-build groups will now be able to bid for a slice of the cash to part fund land acquisition and early development costs with money being repaid on completion of the project.

With the number of self-build mortgages soaring and more than 100,000 people looking for self-build slots, the sector in the UK is enjoying a successful period.

"The self-build industry is riding the crest of a wave, with more people than ever wanting control over the design and build of their home," said Mr Shapps.

"But despite this self-build surge, we continue to lag behind the rest of the world. I am determined to change this so anyone who wants to embark on a self-build project has the opportunity to do so."

As part of the effort, Mr Shapps is to lead a UK delegation to the Netherlands to see what lessons can be learnt from the highly successful Dutch self-build industry.

Furthermore, the self-build industry has appointed the renowned presenter of Channel 4's Grand Designs, Kevin McCloud, to act as an industry champion.

Mr McCloud, who will also travel to the Netherlands , said that the UK has been guilty of building some of the poorest, most expensive and smallest homes in Europe in the past.

"But there is another way. What if we became a nation of self-builders like the Dutch?" he added.

"What if each household in the UK had the option to build their own place? What if large-scale developers provided finished-slab, fully-serviced sites for homebuilders?

"We'd see more customised homes that reflect where they are, to higher space standards and to a better quality. We'd see people sharing skills and saving money."

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