Over a third of people believe self-build is an effective route to owning a home

According to the National Self Build and Renovation Centre (NSBRC), 39 per cent of people surveyed at its Self Build & Renovation Show would consider building a house because they believe self-build is an effective route to owning their own home. Of those surveyed, 41 per cent said they were “very

likely” to build their own home, while an additional 30 per cent said it was likely. 76 per cent said they would consider self-build in order to ensure they have a home tailored to specific requirements and future needs, while 45 per cent would build so they can “have creative control over the design process”. The survey also found that over 50 per cent of people would “want a home with environmentally sustainable benefits”, such as using solar panels, heat pumps and building to Passivhaus standards. When asked what issues they believe are holding them

back from building, 33 per cent stated finding land was a major barrier, 19 per cent cited not having the right skills, 23 per cent said a lack of self-build knowledge and 19 per cent mentioned “not having the time and flexibility to make it happen”. Perhaps most surprisingly, only 6 per cent saw money as a barrier.

Commenting on the findings, NSBRC managing director Harvey Fremlin said: “The common assumption associated with self-build is that it’s for the wealthy, but that’s not the case. The survey proves this, as so few ordinary self-builders – with realistic ambitions – believe money is holding them back. There can be a saving of up to 15 per cent on the cost of traditionally purchasing a home, and there are additional Governmental initiatives available including the Home Building Fund and Right to Build.” Currently, self- and custom-build only accounts for seven to 10 per cent of new housing across the UK per year – a significantly lower rate than other European countries. However, the Government’s target of 300,000 new homes a year by the middle of the next decade could change this, said the NSBRC. Fremlin continued: “There are strong motivations for self-

build in the UK. Not only does it allow greater consumer choice and flexibility, it gives creative control back to the homebuyer. But self-build isn’t just about the building element, it also allows for greater environmentally sustainable housing, builds strong communities and it cost- effectively achieves a home that meets the needs and aspirations of individual households.”

Work starts on a £2.5m ‘walled garden house’ in Northumberland

Plans for a £2.5m 6,000 ft2 ‘walled garden house’ located

between Alnwick and Morpeth are a step closer to completion as the first phase of construction work gets underway. The move is the latest phase of an ambitious project by Newcastle architects Pod to create a five-bedroom property which will revitalise and safeguard the Grade II listed walled garden in Newton-on-the-Moor, under plans approved by Northumberland County Council. The 1771-built garden originally supplied fresh produce for Newton Hall but had fallen into decline following years of neglect. Proposals will see a sympathetic restoration of the site, which will include a modern sunken living space “folded under the garden landscape”. This will enhance the structure’s original features and “add a new dimension” without impacting on the external appearance, said the architects.

Construction of some of the outbuildings and garages is underway and will be followed by the building of a modern entertainment wing and conversion of the disused potting sheds and greenhouses into luxury living accommodation. Featuring a sauna, bar, gym and spiral staircase leading to the walled garden – via a retractable glass roof that wraps over the new build element, the scheme has been designed to be sensitive and reflect the garden’s original purpose. Pod project architect and director Martin Clay, having worked closely with the council and its conservation officers, commented: “As architects, you always want to work on challenging projects and for clients with ambition.”

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