DLP Planning Ltd (DLP) have secured a resolution to grant outline planning consent for 16 serviced ‘custom build’ plots in Houghton Conquest, Central Bedfordshire (The Council) on behalf of our client Self-Build-Developments Ltd. This was a project undertaken in conjunction with be1 Architects Ltd, Matrix Transport and Infrastructure Consultants Ltd, Aspect Landscape Planning-Ecology-Arboriculture and Environmental Protection Strategies Ltd.
The scheme will deliver on-site sustainable urban drainage in addition to the developer providing key services, including access to the highway, landscaping, foul drainage and utility connections to all plots. In addition an off-site financial contribution toward affordable housing will be made. Individual plot owners will then seek to design and build individual homes upon each plot, subject to future detailed Reserved Matter applications.
DLP led detailed negotiations with the Council, in particular with their Sustainable Growth Officer responsible for their self-build register. This was vital to the success of the scheme, as the Council had little experience of this type of development and was happy to work with us in establishing the core principles for custom build development.
A timely consideration in the determination of the application was that the Housing and Planning Act 2016 made changes to the Self-Build and Custom Housebuilding Act introducing a legal duty for Council’s to meet the demand from the Register through the provision of serviced plots. This came into effect on 31st October 2016, at which time there were approximately 70 people upon the Councils register. In addition, the Council’s absence of a robust 5yr housing land supply and the fact that the Council had yet to bring forward serviced plots added weight to the clear identified need for this type of development.
This is thought to be the first application approved for serviced custom build development within Central Bedfordshire and DLP are now working with the Council on the drafting of a S.106 legal agreement, which will secure the mechanics of how those upon the Councils register will be given priority to developing the plots.