Self and custom build register

Find out more information for individuals and groups seeking to acquire serviced plots of land to build their own home.

Many people choose to build or commission their own home. A self or custom build project gives you flexibility to organise the design and construction of a home that meets your personal specifications. This could involve finding a plot as an individual or a group and working with a variety of specialists to deliver your new home, or doing all the work yourself. Custom build normally involves working with a specialist developer to commission a home that is tailored to your specific requirements.

Further information about self and custom housebuilding can be found at the Government's Self Build Portal.
Individuals and groups can register their interest in finding a plot for building their own home in Northumberland by filling in and submitting our online registration form. In order to make an entry on the register, you (and, where applicable, each member of your group) must be:

  • over 18 years of age;
  • a resident of the UK, EEA or Switzerland;
  • interested in acquiring a serviced plot of land in Northumberland (ie. with connections to a road and utilities); and
  • interested in building a home to occupy as your sole or main residence.

Please note that the form is designed to be filled in by an individual. If you wish to make an entry as a household or a group, you should nominate a member of your household or group to act as a lead individual. 

Click here to register your interest in building your own home in Northumberland.
Councils are legally required to have granted sufficient planning permissions to meet the level of demand for serviced self or custom housebuilding plots indicated by the number of registrations in each monitoring base year, and have a 3-year period within which to do so. There is, however, no requirement to permit those plots in the specific locations of preference indicated by the entries on the register.

As at the end of the fourth monitoring year (30 October 2019), there were a total of 315 live entries on Northumberland County Council’s Self and Custom Build Register, including six groups, with a combined demand for around 332-337 plots (12-19 plots for the groups). About half of those registering have indicated one or more preferences of location in the county.

The first monitoring base period 1 April - 30 October 2016 saw 113 registrations, including 2 small groups, although some were updated or repeat entries. The Council was therefore required to have permissioned at least 112 plots by 30 October 2019.  

A further 80 registrations, including 1 group, were received in the second base year 31 October 2016 - 30 October 2017 for an additional 78 plots. 81 registrations were made in 2017-18, including 3 groups, for an additional 80-85 plots, with 79 registrations in 2018-19 for an additional 62 plots.

About a quarter of those on Northumberland’s register have, however, also registered an interest in finding a self or custom build plot with one or more other local authorities, mainly in North East England, so there is known to be a significant degree of duplication of demand across the region. About a third of those on the Council’s register currently live outside Northumberland.

Councils are legally required to have granted sufficient planning permissions to meet the level of demand for serviced self or custom housebuilding plots indicated by the number of registrations in each monitoring base year, and have a 3-year period within which to do so. There is, however, no requirement to permit those plots in the specific locations of preference indicated by the entries on the register.

As at the end of the fourth monitoring year (30 October 2019) Northumberland County Council had planning permissions in place and granted for between 235-250 potential self or custom housebuilding plots around the county. This more than satisfies the level of demand indicated by the number of registrations during the first base monitoring period.

The latest list of permitted sites with plots available for self or custom housebuilding can be found here.

The Council has also permitted numerous applications for single dwelling developments around the county, which are highly likely to involve some form of self or custom housebuilding and thus further contribute to satisfying the Council’s legal obligations.
Landowners or their agents can register a plot of land in Northumberland that they think could be suitable for a self or custom build development by completing this online form.

Some sites are already known to the Council and have already been assessed for their suitability for housing. Before filling in this form, you should check whether your site is already on our housing land database. If your site is already known to us, please make sure that you note down its 4 digit reference number on the relevant part of the form. If you are unable to access the above link, please contact us.

Please also ensure that you have the appropriate permissions from the landowner before putting forward a site for self or custom build development. In order to put forward a site, you will need to provide site details, marketing details and supporting documents (maps, photos, plans etc.) through the online form. Note that registering a plot of land does not grant any form of planning permission(s) on the site.

Click here to register a plot of land potentially suitable for self or custom build development.
​Making an entry through these forms is the only way that we are able to monitor the level of demand and potential plot availability for self and custom build projects in Northumberland. Registering your interest in undertaking a self or custom housebuilding project will help us to establish the demand for serviced plots within the county and will inform our housing evidence base. Registering a plot of land for possible self or custom build opportunities will help us to establish where there might be a further supply of suitable land to potentially help meet demand.

We may contact you to confirm your eligibility or to discuss opportunities for self and custom housebuilding projects. However, the personal information you submit will not be shared with anyone outside the Council. 

Please contact us if you no longer wish to be included on the Self and Custom Build Register (eg. because you have already found a plot, or otherwise are no longer interested in finding a plot in Northumberland). In order to ensure we continue to comply with GDPR requirements, and so that we do not retain people’s details on the register unnecessarily and indefinitely, entries will be removed from the register after a 4-year period, along with any duplicate entries. You can nevertheless choose to re-register at any time if you wish to maintain your interest on the register, although there is no need to re-register every year.

Please note that we are not affiliated with any third party organisations promoting self or custom housebuilding services or advice.

If you have any queries, or you require paper copies of these forms, please contact the Planning Policy Team at housing.proposals@northumberland.gov.uk.