Self-Build and Custom House Building

The Self-Build and Custom Housebuilding Act 2015 requires all local authorities, including Ashford Borough Council, to keep a register of individuals who are seeking to acquire serviced plots of land in the borough on which to build their own homes.

The council has set up a register to determine the demand for sites from those interested in undertaking self-build and custom build housing projects.

From 31 October 2017, a fee of £30 was introduced for first time applications. The £30 introduction fee includes registration onto the register and the rest of the base year (until 30th October). We will then write to you at the end of October to pay a renewal fee of £15 to remain on the register for the next year.

Payment can be made by debit/credit card on our website under Self-Build Application fee. You may also pay by cheque made payable to Ashford Borough Council, quoting Self-Build Register on the reverse and send to Planning (SCBR), Ashford Borough Council, Civic Centre, Tannery Lane, Ashford, Kent TN23 1PL.


When we write to you for the renewal fee in October, we will ask if you would like to be on the register. If you fail to pay the renewal fee, you will be removed from the register.’

If you would like to register your interest please complete our self-build register form.

Things to consider

  • The scheme is limited by the land that becomes available so we cannot guarantee when or even if a suitable plot of land will be offered
  • Plots of land that become available will be matched to your requirements as closely as possible
  • Most plots that become available will have services supplied up to the boundary (electricity, gas, sewerage, roads, etc.)
  • Plots will be available at market value
  • Self and custom build projects will be subject to the same planning requirements and obligations as standard planning applications

Types of self and custom build

Self-build and custom build housing can take many forms, from building a single house to larger developments.

  • Self-build individual plot – An individual buys a plot of land and builds a house. They can manage the construction process and build the house themselves or they can employ a builder, architect and project manager etc., who manage the build for them
  • Collective custom build – Groups constitute themselves as an organisation to design and develop a custom build housing development which they then live in. They may build this themselves or with help from a developer to manage the project
  • Community-led – Community-led housing projects, which build mostly affordable homes in the community, will enable a group of people to build homes together, either individually or in cooperation with a builder or housing provider
  • Developer-led build – Developers with large sites divide them into single plots and offer a design-and-build service. This gives people a chance to customise existing house designs to suit their needs, sometimes being offered the chance to finish the interior of the house themselves
  • Co-housing – A co-housing project involves a constituted group of people creating their own neighbourhood of homes with shared facilities, such as a communal house. A community ethos is at the heart of this type of housing

How we will use information from the register

By signing up and registering your interest, you will help us find out more about the demand for self-build and custom build plots in the Ashford borough, where people would like their plot to be and the type of house that they would like to build.

The information will be used to explore ways in which it might be possible for people and plots to be brought together. Registration does not, however, guarantee that a suitable plot will be identified, or become available.

Although we are required to have regard for the register when carrying out our planning and housing function, this is not indefinite. Any applicant consistently refusing offers of suitable plots will be removed from the register. Applicants will be required to re-register every 12 months to ensure their information is up-to-date. Letters will be sent to all entrants in October, and the renewal fee for the year 2017-18 is £15.

The legal bit....

Ashford Borough Council (ABC) is the data controller for the personal information you provide. ABC’s Data Protection Officer can be contacted at Your information will be used to assist in the compilation of the Self Build Register and processing is being conducted relying upon a contract basis. Your personal data will not be published or shared with third parties. Your information will be retained for as long as the contract is maintained. For more information on your rights please see the council’s privacy statement.

Eligibility criteria

To apply to be on the custom/self-build register you must meet all of the following eligibility criteria. 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 an EEA State other than the United Kingdom, or a national of Switzerland
  • Seeking (either alone or with others) to acquire a serviced plot of land within the Ashford borough to build a house that will then be their sole, or main, residence
  • From 31 October 2017, payment of a £30 fee

When applying to be entered on the register, individuals who wish to register as a constituted association must appoint a member or officer to act as the lead contact for the purposes of all correspondence between the association and the council.

In determining whether you are eligible for entry on the register, we are entitled, but not required, to rely on information you provide as part of the application process.

Register your interest for a self or custom house build project.

Monitoring information

Monitoring information

Number of new entrants onto the register  

31 October 2018 - 30 October 2019 (Base Period 4)

Individuals 4
Associations/Groups 0
Total 4

Number of new entrants onto the register  

31 October 2017 - 30 October 2018 (Base Period 3)

Individuals 9
Associations/Groups 0
Total 9

Number of new entrants onto the register

31 October 2016 – 30 October 2017 (Base Period 2)

Individuals 8
Associations/Groups 0
Total 8

Number of new entrants onto the register

1 April 2016 – 30 October 2016 (Base Period 1)

Individuals 1
Associations/Groups 0
Total 1