Self-build and custom house building register

What is self and custom built housing

Self-build is where the initial homeowner has primary input into the final design and then builds their home on a vacant plot of land. Custom housebuilding is where an individual contracts a builder to design and construct a 'custom built' home for them.

Homes considered to be self or custom built should be the main residence of the initial homeowner. For instance, it should not be used as a rental property or sold upon completion. 

Self and custom build register

We have a register of individuals and associations of individuals who are seeking to acquire serviced plots of land in the West Suffolk area. All local authorities are required by the Self-build and Custom house building Act 2015 to have a register.

The register helps us gauge the level of demand for self-build and custom house building in the area.

The information also helps us to bring together potential self or custom builders who want to build homes in the same area and to put them in touch with landowners, developers, land agents or other appropriate groups.

Registration does not guarantee that a suitable plot will be identified but it means we know who is interested if and when serviced plots become available.

The table below shows the number of people added to the register for each base period and the number of planning permissions granted three years from the end of each base period.

Base period Base period years Number of registrations
1 2015-16 7
2 2016-17 10
3 2017-18 15
4 2018-19 24
5 2019-20 26
6 2020-21 41
7 2021-22 38
8 2022-23 10 (as of 3 July 2023)

The council has a duty to grant development permission to enough suitable serviced plots of land to meet the demand for self-build and custom housebuilding in the area. The level of demand is established by the number of entries on the register during a base period. Each base period runs from 31 October to 30 October each year. At the end of each base period, the council has three years in which to permission an equivalent number of plots, as there are entries for that base period. 


The Government has set the rules about who can register. The same rules apply in all local authority areas. An individual is eligible for entry on the register if that individual is:

  • aged 18 or over, and
  • 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 that individuals sole or main residence.

If the applicant is a group or an association, each member must fulfil the eligibility criteria.

Registering your interest

You can apply as an individual or as an association.

An association is a group of individuals including a body corporate that exercises functions on behalf of an association. Each member of the association is required to complete an association registration form.

If you are a couple or members of the same household wishing to build a single home, you only need to fill in one individual registration form in the name of one person.

If you would like to register your interest for a self-build or custom house building plot please complete the Custom or self-build registration questionnaire

More information

If you have any further queries about the registration, please contact us by email

How would you rate our website?
Page rating 1 star Page rating 2 star Page rating 3 star Page rating 4 star Page rating 5 star