Self Build

South Cambridgeshire District Council successfully bid for and won DCLG funding to become a Right to Build Vanguard Authority in 2015. Since that time we have created a self and custom build function which aims to support people to design and build their own homes – potentially at a lower cost than buying an existing property – and open up the opportunity to people with modest budgets as well as those with grand plans.

Registering your interest

We are working in partnership with Cambridge City Council to provide a register of people interested in custom self build properties, so we can identify the number and location of plots of land required. If you wish to apply for the register, please complete the online form

The Council’s register will also help bring together groups of households who want to custom build homes in the same area. This sees people work together to split costs and uncertainties among them which often makes it more viable to take on.

Things to consider

  • The scheme is limited by the land that becomes available so we cannot guarantee when or 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.

About Custom Self Build Projects

Custom build housing can happen in a number of ways, from building a single house to larger developments.

Self Build Individual plot - An individual purchases 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.

Collective custom build-Groups constitute themselves as a body 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 who build mostly affordable homes in the community will help 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 it into single plots and offer a design and build service.  This gives people a chance to customise existing house designs to suit their needs and can sometimes offer a chance to finish the house yourself internally.

Cohousing - A Cohousing 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.

Further Information

If you would like to know more about the Right to Build project or have any queries about the registration, please contact us by email rightto.build@scambs.gov.uk or call 01954 713419.

Right to Build Expo: unlocking the potential of Custom & Self Build Housing 7 November 2017, Wellingborough

On Tuesday 7 November, Laurence Castle, Self/Custom Build Regional Manager, gave a presentation called "Example from the Neighbourhood - Delivery of permissioned serviced building plots in South Cambridgeshire - the Vanguard Experience."

Self Build/Custom Build East of England event Tuesday 22nd November 2016

On Tuesday 22nd November we held an event to help local authorities prepare for new legislative requirements, and provide practical advice on available tools and techniques that really work.

The event was aimed at local authority planning, housing and finance officers and anyone else with an interest in this new and exciting market.

Presentations from all of the speakers can be found below:

Igloo presentation

Mary Stallebrass presention

Richard Abbott presentation

Gill Anderton self build presentation

Cecilie presentation

On the evening of 26th January 2016 we held our second customer forum event to provide an update on how the scheme is moving forward and to provide relevant information for potential self-builders on our register.  More information about the event can be found here: https://www.scambs.gov.uk/content/right-build-customer-forum-0

Some external links which provide information and guidance on Custom Self Build are below;

Contact Details