Frequently-Asked Questions

What is 'self-build'?

Self-build means you will be actively involved in acquiring land to build a home, designing and getting planning permission for this home, and building the home. You could do all the work yourself, but it is more usual (after you have found the land) to commission an architect to design the building and obtain planning permission, followed by commissioning a builder or different building trades to build the home. You can self-build as an individual or as part of a group set up specifically to build your own homes.


What is 'custom housebuilding'?

Custom housebuilding refers to a house builder offering a site for sale with a ‘design and build’ service. This allows you to tailor the home that is built on the site to your requirements. House builders will allow different degrees of customisation; some will allow you to fit out (lay flooring, install kitchens and bathrooms, tile, wall paper and paint) the home yourself, while others will give you a range of fit and finishes to choose from.


How is 'self-build and custom housebuilding' legally defined?

Legislation defines ‘self-build and custom housebuilding’ as the building or completion by individuals, associations of individuals, or persons working with or for individuals or associations, of houses to be occupied as homes by those individuals.

This does not include the building of a house on a plot acquired from a person who builds the house wholly or mainly to plans or specifications decided or offered by that person. Regulations in relation to the Register are set out in the Self-build and Custom Housebuilding Regulations 2016.


What is the Self-build and Custom Housebuilding Register?

The Register is a record of people who wish to acquire serviced plots of land within Harborough District to build houses to occupy as their main home.

The Council is required by law (The Self-Build and Custom Housebuilding Act 2015 and The Housing and Planning Act 2016) to keep this Register. The Council is also required to grant planning permissions for enough serviced plots of land to meet the demand for self-build homes as evidenced by the Register. The Council has up to three years after accepting a Register application to make sure serviced plots are available for sale to these qualifying self-builders.


Who can join the Self-build and Custom Housebuilding Register?

Everyone applying to join the Register, whether as an individual or as a member of an association, has to meet the following conditions:

1. Must be aged 18 or over;
2. Must be a British citizen, a national of an EEA state or Switzerland; and
3. Must be seeking to acquire a serviced plot of land for their own self-build and custom housebuilding project.


Is there a fee to join the Self-build and Custom Housebuilding Register?

As of the 1st April 2024, a fee has been introduced to join the Self-build and Custom Housebuilding Register. The fee is £94 payable every 3 years that you wish to remain on the register. Once you have completed your application form, your form will be checked to ensure you meet eligibility requirements and then payment will be requested before adding your details to the Self-build and Custom Housebuilding Register. 


How do I apply to join the Self-build and Custom Housebuilding Register?

Complete the online application form. The information required will depend on whether you are an individual applicant or whether you are applying on behalf of a group of individuals (referred to as an association). There is a fee of £94 to join the register, payable once eligibility requirements have been checked. 

The Council determines applications within 28 days and contacts applicants regarding its decision. Those deemed not eligible for entry in the Register will be informed of the reasons for the decision.


Does an entry on the Self-build and Custom Housebuilding Register guarantee a suitable plot of land?

Entry on the Register does not guarantee that a suitable plot of land will be identified or become available. The Register provides the Council with valuable information on demand for self-build and custom housebuilding in the local area and is a key part of the Council’s evidence base for this type of housing.


Will any personal data relating to the Register be made public?

Personal details included on the Register will not be made public, but anonymous headline data extracted from it may be published (i.e. overall numbers of registered entries for various categories, geographical areas of interest, size of plot sought).


Who keeps the Register up-to-date?

The Council ensures that the Register is up-to-date by reviewing entries in the Register periodically. This involves contacting the named individual or Lead Contact of the Association to confirm that the details they have provided remain accurate and that they still intend to undertake a self-build project within the District.

The most recent update took place early in 2020. All those registered as of 30 October 2019 were contacted and asked to submit a new application form if they wanted to stay on the Register.


What happens if my details change?

It is important to inform the Council of any change of circumstances or change of contact details. If the Council cannot contact you, your entry will be removed from the Register.

Any changes in your details should be submitted by email to the Planning Policy team.


How we will use your information?

The Council is collecting your information in accordance with the Self-build and Custom Housebuilding Act 2015 (as amended). The information you have supplied will be used to maintain a list of people and groups interested in building their own homes and to deliver and improve Council services. Your information may be shared with other Council departments.

Your information will be held in accordance with the Council’s Document Retention and Disposal Policy and we will only ask you for as much information as is required to respond to your enquiry / expression of interest in self build. We will not disclose any personal information to any other third parties unless required to do so by law.

For further information on how your information is used, how we maintain the security of your information , and your rights to access information we hold about you, please contact: Harborough District Council, The Symington Building, Adam & Eve St, Market Harborough LE16 7AG or


How many individuals/associations are on the Register?

A table summarising the number of individuals/associations that were on the Register (and the number of plots required) as of 30 October 2023 (i.e. the end of Base Period 8) is available to view here.