From tiny acorns....
There it is, buried on line 13 of Clause 28 of the newly published National Planning Policy Framework, the phrase that we hope will turn the tide of the UK housebuilding scene.
To paraphrase for those of you too lazy to download. Clause 28 deals with Housing Requirements. It asks that individual local authorities undertake assessments of what their housing requirements are. Nothing new there. It is more specific than this though. It requests these assessments address the need for all types of housing, including affordable housing and the needs of different groups in the community (such as families with children, older people, disabled people, service families and people wishing to build their own homes) and caters for housing demand and the scale of housing supply necessary to meet this demand.
So that's what we have won. Just the mention of people wishing to build their own homes. Never been mentioned before in all the 1,000 plus pages of PPG this and PPS that. Instead we have got it into the 60-page NPPF. BTW, how brilliant is that? Just 60 pages. I approve.
So the next stage is to use this lever to campaign LA's to address the demand for selfbuild, and to not quietly ignore it. It won't be an overnight sensation, that's for sure, but we have at least established credibility with the national planners that selfbuild should be more than just a side show.
It already looks as though the draft NPPF is going to kickstart a debate about the Green Belts. Just this morning, I heard the first salvo on the radio from the National Trust who are upset about the presumption in favour of sustainable development. I am sure I even heard the phrase "urban sprawl" came up. Don't you love it?