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Coronavirus (COVID-19): updates and advice.

Build your own home

We are required under the Self-Build and Custom Housebuilding Act 2015 to keep a register of people who are interested in self-build or custom-build projects in the area. This helps us understand the level of demand for self-build and custom-build plots in Dorset.

Dorset Council Self Build Register

Dorset Council Self Build Register

Sign up to the register to help us better understand the level of demand for self build or custom-build plots in the Dorset Council area.

Please note that to be entered onto Part 1 of the self-build register you will need to submit evidence of a local connection to the Dorset Council area. This could be council tax records or utility bills showing you address or employment contract and payslips showing paid employment. You should also have payment details at hand. Entry onto Part 2 of the register does not require evidencing of a local connection to the area or payment of a fee.

The register doesn't guarantee you a plot, but we will use information from the register to look for ways to meet the demand for self-build and custom-build plots in the future.

Before you start, please read all of the information set out below. If you have any questions you can contact the Planning Policy Team using the details found at the bottom of the page.

Sign up to the register

Change in procedure

A change to procedure is now required as a consequence of local government reorganisation as the five former district level self build registers require replacing with a single Dorset Council register.

Dorset Council is taking this opportunity to divide the register into two parts by introducing a ‘local connection test’, as detailed below. Dorset Council must count entries on Part 1 of the register towards the number of suitable serviced plots that they must grant development permission for. Entries on Part 2 do not count towards this demand but the Council must have regard to the entries on Part 2 when carrying out their planning, housing, land disposal and regeneration functions.

Who can register

An individual is eligible for entry on Part 1 of the register if that individual:

  • is aged 18 or over; and

  • is a British citizen, a national of an EEA State other than the United Kingdom, or a national of Switzerland;

  • seeking (either alone or with others) to acquire a serviced plot of land in the relevant authority's area to build a house to occupy as your sole or main residence; and

  • can demonstrate a local connection to the Dorset Council area; and

  • has paid any fee required by the relevant authority to be paid to be entered in or to remain on the register.

An individual is eligible for entry onto Part 2 of the register if that individual meets all of the eligibility requirements of Part 1 apart from demonstrating a local connection to the Dorset Council area. No fee is applicable for entry onto Part 2.

The local connection test

A local connection can be:  

  • residency in the Dorset Council area (2 years or 3 years out of the last 5 years);

  • a close family continuous residency in the Dorset Council area (parents, siblings, non-dependant children - 5 years evidenced);

  • paid employment (or offer) in the Dorset Council area (16 hours per week); or

  • any person in the service of the regular armed forced of the Crown (and for a period of five years after leaving service).

The local connection test was introduced on 31 October 2020 and requires at least one of the criteria to be met and evidenced.

Administration Fee

In order to be entered onto the self build register the following charges apply:

  • £50.00 for an individual (or £50.00 for every plot sought by an association) to be entered onto Part 1 of the register and £50.00 for annual renewal of entry onto Part 1 of the register.
  • Free entry for either an individual or association of individuals to be entered onto Part 2 of the register.

This charge is an administration fee only. Entry onto the self build register does not guarantee that a self build plot will be made available to you for purchase. The self build register is an indication of local demand. These fees were introduced on 31 October 2020 and must be paid within 28 days of entry onto the register.

To make payment, please call our Accounts Receivable Helpdesk on 01305 224823 making reference to entry onto the Council's Self Build Register and quoting the profit centre code 107015 and general ledger code 236201.

What self-build and custom-build housing is

Self-build

You directly organise the design and construction of your own home. This covers a wide range of projects, including a traditional DIY self-build home to projects where you employ someone to build your home. Community-led projects can also be defined as self-build.

Custom-build

This involves working with a developer as an individual or a group to help build your own home. The developer may help to find a plot, manage the construction and arrange the finance for your new home. This is more of a hands-off approach, but your home will be tailored to match your individual requirements.

Exemption from Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL)

CIL is a charge applied to new developments to help fund infrastructure in the area. Self-build homes are exempt from CIL.

The former East Dorset District Council area

Read more about CIL in the former East Dorset District Council area including the types of development exempt from CIL and how to apply for exemption.

The former North Dorset District Council area

There is no CIL charge for properties in the former North Dorset District Council area.

The former Purbeck District Council area

In the former Purbeck District Council area self-build homes are subject to a legal charge that will expire after 3 years. If you sell before 3 years, you must pay the charge. Once you have lived in your home for 3 years, the charge is removed.

You must apply for a CIL exemption.

The former West Dorset District Council and Weymouth & Portland Borough Council areas

Read more about CIL in West Dorset, Weymouth and Portland and how self build and custom build projects can claim relief.

Planning Policy

Name: Planning policy team
Email: planningpolicy@dorsetcouncil.gov.uk
Tel: 01305 251010
Full contact details for Planning Policy

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