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Self builds


The government wants more people to build or commission their own home. To help in this, the Self Build and Custom Build Act 2015 requires us to keep a register of people or groups who are interested in 'serviced plots' of land for self build or custom build.

Self building

This is when you directly organise the design and construction of your own home. Community-led projects and groups can also work together to develop a self build scheme.

Self building can be done in a wide range of ways, with different levels of involvement from you as a self builder, from traditional DIY self building where you play a large part in building your own home, through hiring contractors, but buying a kit home that's erected for you.

Custom building

This often requires less direct involvement from you in the construction process. It is where you work with a developer who may help to find a plot, manage the construction and arrange the finance for your new home. Your home can be tailored to match your individual requirements and can be finished to a level that meets your finances or your preferences. You might want the developer to entirely complete your home or purely to build it to a level where you complete the final stages as a self builder.

Our self and custom build register

Joining our register means:

  • you will help us find out more about the demand for serviced self and custom build plots in County Durham and where people would like their plot to be
  • we can use the information to explore ways in which it might be possible for people and plots to be brought together
  • we can develop our housing and planning policies to support the level of interest that is identified for serviced plots

Registration does not guarantee that a suitable plot will be identified, or become available

We will not pass identifiable information from the register onto anyone without the written consent of the person who registered their details.

How to apply

To apply, you must:

  • be aged 18 or older
  • be a British citizen, a national of an EEA State other than the United Kingdom, or a national of Switzerland
  • be seeking to buy the plot in the administrative area of County Durham to build a house to occupy as the main individual(s)
  • be seeking to use the plot to build your main home
  • be seeking a serviced plot ie one which already has access to a public highway and connections for electricity, mains water and waste water

Fill in one of our application forms and contact us by post:

We will decide whether to add you to the register within 28 days and let you know in writing. You can contact us at any time to ask for your entry to be updated or removed.

Trinity Mews Custom Build Site

Trinity Mews is a pilot custom build site led by the council in partnership with Custom Build Homes, which is bringing nine fully serviced plots to the market on the outskirts of Durham City. 

As part of the development and enabling process infrastructure has been delivered on site and local demand assessed to better understand individual needs and create a customer proposition, site specific Design Code and plot passports. 

To find out more details please visit Custom Build Homes where support is on offer to guide purchasers through the design, planning and construction processes as they create and build their own dream homes.

Following evaluation of the pilot, we will look to explore other sites across the county to enable more residents access the opportunity to build their own home. For other custom and self build sites within the county and advice for building your own home please refer to the offsite links or you may find suitable land and buildings we offer for sale that are suitable for custom build housing.

Land for sale

You may find that land and buildings we offer for sale may be suitable for self-build projects.

Contact us
Spatial Policy
03000 261 908
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