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Self-build and custom housebuilding

As part of government plans to provide more homes, new measures have been put in place for people to register their interest for a plot of land to build their own homes through either self-build or custom housebuilding.

What is self-build?

Self-build gives people the option to buy a plot of land, then manage the entire design and the building process themselves.

What is custom build?

Custom build gives people the option to work with a specialist developer to design and customise some elements of their new home. It starts with a plot of land or a basic built ‘shell’. People can then choose the particular layouts, finishes, fixtures and fittings they want.

Self-build and custom housebuilding register

The Self-Build and Custom Housebuilding Act 2015 and Self-Build and Custom Housebuilding (Register) Regulation 2016 require the Council to keep a register of individuals and associations of individuals who are interested in self-build and custom housebuilding and are seeking to acquire serviced plots of land within the Council.

The Act also places a duty on councils and other public bodies to have regard to the self-build and custom housebuilding register when carrying out their planning, housing, land disposal and regeneration functions. See planning practice guide for more information.

The self-build and custom housebuilding register provides valuable information on demand for self-build and custom housebuilding in the local area and forms a key part of the Council’s evidence base on demand for this type of housing.

Please note that the Council does not have a duty to find land or allocate plots for people listed on the register to build housing.

Who is eligible to be entered on the register?

Applicants must meet all of the eligibility criteria for entry 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 older
  • a British citizen, a national of a EEA 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 Hackney area to build a house to occupy as that individual’s sole or main residence
  • an association is eligible for entry in the register if each member of the association meets all of the eligibility requirements for an individual set out above

What is a serviced plot of land?

For the purposes of section 5 of the Act, the specified requirements for a serviced plot of land are that the plot has

  • access to a public highway; and
  • connections for electricity, water and waste water

How to register your interest

Individual applicants

Couples, two or more members of one household, who are jointly seeking to acquire a serviced plot of land to build a house to occupy as their sole or main residence should make a single entry to the register.

Association applicants

Individuals who wish to register as an association must appoint a member or officer to act as the lead contact for the purposes of correspondence between the association and the Council.

Apply to be included on the register

Please complete the self build application form and return it to:

Strategic Policy team
Hackney Council
Third Floor, The Annex
2 Hillman Street
E8 1FB

Or email it to:

For more information, please visit the Self Build Portal or if you require guidance on filling this application; contact us on 020 8356 8084 or email

Determination of applications, removal or amendment of the register

  • we will determine your application for entry into the register and notify you in writing within 28 days of the date that the application was received
  • we may remove an entry from the register if we consider that the individual (or in the case of an association, any member of the association) is no longer eligible for entry in the register
  • where we decide to remove an entry from the register, we will notify the applicant and give reasons for the decision
Page updated on: 23 March 2020