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Self-build housing

The Government and Eden District Council wants to enable more people to build their own home.

The terms 'self-build' and 'custom-build' are used to describe situations where individuals or groups are involved in creating their own home. The amount of personal involvement will vary. Some self-builders physically build all or part of a home themselves, some commission an architect to manage their project or a developer may find a site and then seek a number of self-build clients and build their homes to their specification under contract.

Self-build homes

Self-build describes projects where the people involved play a very significant part in the process. They may help to organise the project, commission an architect or builder, or do some of the construction or finishing off work too. Self-building does not necessarily mean picking up the bricks and physically getting stuck in - most self-builders will be involved in the creative side of the process.

Custom-build homes

Custom-build describes a more 'hands-off' approach where a specialist developer co-ordinates the whole process for the people involved.

Self-build register

Local Planning Authorities in England and Wales are required under the Self-build and Custom Housebuilding Act 2015 to keep a register of persons seeking to acquire land to build a home.

The Council is compiling a register of people who might be interested in self-build or custom-build. If the Council becomes aware of land that may be suitable it will contact those who have expressed an interest.

To register please complete the Registration Form (PDF: 96Kb / 4 pages) and return it:

  • By post to: Planning Policy Team, Eden District Council, Mansion House, Penrith, Cumbria CA11 7YG
  • By email to:

In preparing this register, we are making no commitment to provide self-build or custom-build plots.

The register will not be a public document, but we may publish headline data from it annually.

Additional useful information

For advice and information on self-build issues, such as land, planning, viability and procurement see Cumbria Rural Housing Trust website.

Additional information on self-build homes which provides encouragement and advice to people who want to build their own home is available through the Self-Build Portal.

Information about funding opportunities for community-led projects is available from the The Homes and Communities Agency.

For advice on self and custom build and a free register of available sites, see