Starting in 2016, local authorities in England have been required to keep a register of self-build and custom-build home builders seeking a plot.

The figures they publish include how many people have asked for permission to build, how many have received permissions.

The latest figures illuminate what’s happening in the UK self-build world – where the UK public is seeking to build, where all the builds will happen, and which councils are the most generous with permission.

Let's take a look at the numbers*. 

Where's the best place to self-build in England?

How do applications stack up against permissions?

Since 2016, when the register was introduced, demand for plots has consistently outstripped the supply of permission to build by local authorities. A combination of factors would lead authorities to be unable to grant every permission, but availability of suitable plots remains a significant issue for many authorities.

In 2020-21, we saw an increase of 30% in new entries to the self-build register compared to the year before - you can read more about LABC Warranty's reaction to that news here.

Applications and permissions, 2016-present

Where were 2020-21’s biggest dream home destinations?

By looking at the local authorities that received the most applications in 2020-21, we can gather an impression on which areas are most in-demand for self-build homes. We can also take a look at which areas have accumulated the most applications since 2016 for a similar view.

The first map below shows the local authorities that received the most applications for new plots in 2020-21. Below that, we have the local authorities with the most applications on their register from 2016 to present.

Planning applications received, 2020-21

Total applications on register, 2016-present

Which authorities are most generous with permissions?

The visualisation below shows a heat map of where planning permissions have been granted in 2020-21.

What’s happening in Cherwell?

Cherwell, a district of Oxfordshire, leads the pack in giving planning permissions by some distance.

They’re so generous with dishing out permissions that we can’t include them on the chart above because their figures is too disruptive to the chart itself.

On the map below, we can see what it looks like when we include Cherwell.

Which areas issue the most permissions to applications?

While Cherwell and Cornwall lead the pack with permissions granted, they’re not the only local authorities happy to hand out plots and permission.

The below chart shows the local authorities with the best ratios of permission sought to permissions granted, sorted by total permissions given.

Planning your dream home?

If you’re planning to self-build your dream home, keep LABC Warranty in mind. We support thousands of self-builders on their journey while building their dream home. 

For more details on what LABC Warranty can do for you, take a look at our case study for Jack Wiltshire, a self-builder who benefitted from our two-pronged approach to inspection and safety.

*Data excludes 2020-21 data from Rotherham and Cambridge

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Please Note: Every care was taken to ensure the information in this article was correct at the time of publication. Any written guidance provided does not replace the reader’s professional judgement and any construction project should comply with the relevant Building Regulations or applicable technical standards. However, for the most up to date LABC Warranty technical guidance please refer to your Risk Management Surveyor and the latest version of the LABC Warranty Technical Manual.

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