Facit Homes finds UK appetite for self-build is soaring

Facit Homes has reported that enthusiasm for self-build is growing rapidly in the UK as the offsite home builder reported a 30 per cent increase in new enquiries in the 12 months leading up to February. The company is finding that a “large proportion” of self-builders

are opting for a turnkey approach and appointing a specialist company to handle the design and build of their home. Facit Homes attributes this growing interest to the increased legislative support from Government and the launch of the UK’s first custom-build development at Graven Hill in Bicester, both of which are making it a serious option for consumers. American couple Marc and Laura Marsdale, who were living in London, had always been fascinated with the idea of designing a

home and watching it come to life, but were deterred by the challenges of a traditional self-build. Marc commented: “Despite our long-held desire to build our own home, the traditional process for doing so in the UK made it seem too daunting. The effort of finding a suitable plot and battling through planning with all the associated risks and unknowns was just not something we wanted to take on.” It was for this reason they decided custom-build could be the route to go down. They purchased a plot at Graven Hill and have commissioned Facit Homes to build their home. “As well as the advantages of purchasing a serviced plot, we were attracted by the kind of community it creates, being mostly made up of people like us who have decided to build their own home,” Marc said. “We get to be a part of the team during the design stage but can then leave it to the professionals to crack on and build our home, so it’s the best of both worlds.” The Government has recently committed to increase the number of custom- and self-build homes built per year to 20,000 by 2020. Councils are also required to make serviced plots available to meet demand within three years at the end of each 12 month period. Bruce Bell, founder and MD of Facit Homes commented: “It’s taken a huge amount of effort to galvanise the Government and local authorities to support those who wish to build their own home but the self- and custom-build tide is finally turning in the UK. Self-build is a great way to create more interesting and appropriate housing which meets the needs and desires of customers, rather than a ‘one size fits all’ approach.”

Government introduces guide to improve consumer product safety recalls

The Government’s new Office for Product Safety and Standards has teamed up with BSI, the UK’s National Standards Body, to launch the first Government-backed Code of Practice (PAS 7100) for product safety recall in the UK. The Code of Practice includes details on how a business can monitor the safety of products and plan for a recall, and how Market Surveillance Authorities such as Trading Standards can support businesses in their monitoring of incidents and implementation of corrective action. It is the first major initiative for the new Office which was launched in January by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. It follows a recommendation by the Working Group on Products Recalls and Safety to introduce a Code to further strengthen the UK’s tough product safety regime.

The Code of Practice comes in two parts. The first is focused on non-food consumer products and is intended for use by manufacturers, importers and distributors. It provides details on: how a business can plan for a recall; managing a possible safety- related product recall; establishing mechanisms to monitor the safety of products; investigating any potential product safety issues; and reviewing corrective action programmes to ensure product safety responsibilities continue to be met. The second part is aimed at regulators. It details how they can carry out their role in ensuring businesses meet their

responsibilities in respect of consumer product safety. Commenting on the new Code, Consumer Minister Andrew Griffiths said: “This new Code of Practice will support businesses in dealing with product safety issues swiftly and effectively, ensuring people can continue to buy secure in the knowledge there is an effective system in place if products need to be repaired or replaced.” Director of Standards at BSI Scott Steedman said: “Public interest in product safety is higher than it has ever been and while consumer products generally perform without problems, there are times when products can become faulty and require a repair or recall. The Code of Practice was created to ensure that corrective action by manufacturers is taken in a safe and systematic way. The launch of this guidance is an important step in ensuring even higher levels of product safety in the future.” The Code was created with the assistance of leading retailers, consumer interest groups and industry bodies. These include

Tesco, Samsung Electronics, British Retail Consortium, Royal Society for the prevention of Accidents and the Association of Chief Trading Standards Officers.

10 march/april 2018

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