Wandsworth approves self-build pilot

Wandsworth Council’s Executive has approved plans that will give residents the opportunity to build their own home on a small site at Whitlock Drive, near Southfields.

Successful applicants would have the opportunity to take on one of three houses that it is proposed to be built there, which is currently occupied by old garages.

Wandsworth is one of the first councils in inner London to identify a site for a self-build initiative, similar to ones set up by Islington and Enfield councils, while the Greater London Authority is establishing a team to provide advice to applicants and local authorities.

The report also sets out how the council will meet the requirements of the Government’s Self-build and Custom Housebuilding Act 2015, including providing advice to those who might wish to register an interest in building their own home.

Self-build can take a number of forms, including fitting out a property that is developed to a ‘shell and core’ state, which is what the council proposes, or residents taking on the design and construction themselves, for example by employing an architect and builder directly. Any such self-build is exempt from the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) usually charged on new developments.

Cllr Clare Salier, Cabinet Member for Housing, said: “Wandsworth has a long history of pioneering housing initiatives, such as Right to Buy, and again we are out in front among the first local authorities to pilot resident-led housebuilding in London.

“It was good to see that this initiative has cross-party support – Wandsworth needs more homes, particularly for working households vital to the local economy and to local services, and this is one of several ways the council is ensuring more are built.”

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