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Levy cuts to help build your own home
Trowers Public Insight

Levy cuts to help build your own home

For most people jobs and homes are a key priority so the Department for Communities and Local Government's announcement  that self-builders will be exempt from community infrastructure levy looks like good news.

On balance, a potential saving of £15,000 will help self-builders and may unlock up to 3,000 self-build homes currently in planning but the step change will only come when more local authorities use their strategic muscle to promote self-build as part of their local housing strategy.

Self-build helps to deliver affordable home ownership along with the benefits of increased community cohesion, much needed local economic investment, sustainable communities and an increased tax base.

A number of innovative local authorities are already using their legal powers and borrowing ability to acquire sites (either on the open market or through compulsory purchase) to promote new self-build opportunities for local communities.

Carefully structured projects (often using wholly owned local authority companies and innovative funding models) provide flexible development options for larger mixed use developments as well as delivering commercial returns to the local authority investor.  In this context, any reduction in Community Infrastructure Levy can be more than offset by the wider local economic benefits of the scheme.

Of course, the self-build vision is not without risks, but in areas where home ownership is becoming increasingly unaffordable, it offers communities new opportunities which the private market is either unwilling or unable to deliver.