Skip to main content

Self and custom housebuilding

Self-build housing is when someone directly organises the design and construction of their new home.

Custom build housing is typically defined as when someone commissions a specialist developer to help to deliver their own home.

Any proposal for any new custom or self-build house will require planning permission and be subject to the relevant planning policies. We have a Pre-Application Planning Advice service which we encourage you to use if you would like to discuss your self-build or custom-build proposal with us.

The council is required to keep a register of individuals and associations of individuals who are seeking to acquire serviced plots of land in Waverley for their own self-build and custom housebuilding.

We use the register to inform us about the level of demand for self-build and custom build plots in the borough so we can plan to meet this need. Entering the register does not guarantee that a suitable plot will be identified or made available to applicants. We are not obliged to find plots that match your specific requirements so you may have to undertake your own research to identify a suitable plot.

The Register is divided into Part 1 and Part 2. Individuals or associations who apply for entry on the Register and meet all the eligibility criteria will be entered on Part 1. Those who meet all the eligibility criteria except for the local connection test will be entered on Part 2 of the Register.

We have a legal duty to give planning permission for enough suitable serviced plots of land to meet the demand for self-build and custom housebuilding in Waverley. The level of demand is established by the number of entries added to Part 1 of 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 housebuilding, as there are entries for that base period. Please note this is not a duty however to provide a plot directly to each individual on the register.

Each individual applicant and every member of an association of individuals that applies for entry on the register must be:

  • aged 18 or over
  • a British citizen, a national of an EEA state other than the UK 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 that individuals sole or main residence.

For entry onto Part 1 of the Register individual applicants and every member of an association must also meet at least one criteria of the local connection test.

The Self-Build and Custom Housebuilding Regulations 2016 allow Local Planning Authorities to introduce a local connection test to their registers. Applicants who meet all the eligibility criteria, except for a local connection test, will be entered on Part 2 of the Register.

Applicants that meet at least one of the following local connections test criterion will join Part 1 of the Register, providing they also meet the standard eligibility criteria*:

  • The applicant or partner has, by choice, lived in the Borough of Waverley for at least 3 out of the 5 years immediately preceding the date the application is made or reviewed; or
  • The applicant or partner has, by choice, lived in the Borough of Waverley continuously for at least 5 years at any time in the past; or
  • The applicant or partner has been employed permanently (not temporarily) for a minimum of 16 hours per week in the Borough of Waverley for at least 12 months and remains in employment in the Borough continuously from the date of their application; or
  • The applicant or partner has a close relative that lives in the Borough of Waverley and has done so for at least 5 years immediately preceding the date the application is made or reviewed. For the purposes of this paragraph a close relative means mother, father, adult son or daughter, brother or sister; or
  • The applicant or partner has demonstrated, to the Council's satisfaction, that a local connection applies to the Borough of Waverley through special/exceptional circumstances.

The Council reserves the right to ask for further evidence from applicants in support of the local connection at a later date if required.

*Every member of an association must meet at least one local connection test criteria for an association to be entered onto Part 1 of the Register.

  • An entry fee of £32 is payable for first time applications.
  • An annual fee of £16 will be payable on 31 October each year for those wishing to remain on Part 1 of the Register. Please note that the Part 1 renewal fee is due annually on 31 October irrespective of the date an applicant initially joins the register.

If you are a couple or members of the same household, please apply as an individual applicant and nominate one person as the 'lead contact' whose name and address will be included in the register.

Register as an individual 

If you are applying on behalf of an association (a group of people who wish to secure several plots for self or custom housebuilding) you will need to give details of eligibility (name, address, date of birth and nationality) for each member of the association.

Register as an association

View a flow chart which summarises the application and consideration process for entry onto the Register.