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Self-build and custom housebuilding

What is self-build and custom build?

In general terms this is where an individual builds their own home or contracts a builder to create a ‘custom built’ home for them.

A more detailed legal definition is set out in the Housing and Planning Act 2016. The Act defines self-build and custom housebuilding as “the building or completion by individuals, associations of individuals, or persons working with or for individuals or associations of individuals, of houses to be occupied as homes by those individuals... [but] does not include the building of a house on a plot acquired from a person who builds the house wholly or mainly to plans or specifications decided or offered by that person.”

What is the purpose of the register?

Islington’s Self-build and custom housebuilding register is divided into two parts:

  • Part 1 keeps track of local demand for self-build and custom housebuilding which must be met via the grant of sufficient development permissions for serviced plots of land.
  • Part 2 keeps track of general demand for self-build and custom build, with no requirement to grant sufficient development permissions for serviced plots of land to meet this demand.

How do I apply?

The council maintains its own list to act as the official self-build and custom housebuilding register for Islington. Please note that the council does not currently recognise registration on any other list as an expression of interest in self-build and custom build in Islington. Interest in self-build and custom build in Islington will only be gauged using the council’s own list noted above.

You can apply to join the Islington register by completing and returning the application form at the bottom of this page.

Eligibility for Part 1 or Part 2 of the register is dependent on submission of appropriate information required by regulations and to address local eligibility conditions. Local eligibility conditions include:

  • a requirement to demonstrate a ‘local connection’, which applies to all applications for Part 1 of the register (an exception applies to persons in the service, or who have been in recent service of, the regular armed forces of the Crown); and
  • a requirement to demonstrate sufficient financial resources to purchase land, which applies to Parts 1 and 2 of the register. 

Further information about local eligibility criteria can be found in the guidance note that can be downloaded at the bottom of this page.

Please note that if you are accepted on to the register this will be conditional on the receipt of the required fee of as set out in the guidance note which can be downloaded at the bottom of this page. You may be removed from the register if this fee is not paid.

What happens after I register?

Once you are on the register we may be in contact with you from time to time with updates about self-build and custom build. We will keep the register under review and update it on a regular basis. We may ask for confirmation of your continued interest in building in the borough at certain intervals to ensure that the register remains accurate.

As the initiative is in its infancy the council may update the application form and may ask for further information as required, for example further evidence about eligibility of households.

Please note that the register will not be made public, although the council may report headline data – such as the overall demand for self-build and custom build in Islington – in the Annual Monitoring Report.

Islington is the most densely populated local authority in the country and there are severe pressures on land available for development. With a limited supply of land and competing development needs, finding additional plots of land in the borough that can be specifically used for self-building is likely to be very challenging. Nevertheless, the data collected through the register will be used to help inform the overall need for housing in the borough.

Contact us

If you have any queries about self-build and custom build in Islington, or if there are issues accessing or submitting the application form, please contact

If you are currently on the register and your details change – e.g. you change address or your circumstances change and you wish to register as part of an association - or you wish to be removed from the register, please contact us as soon as possible.

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Data protection: We will handle your personal information in line with the Data Protection Act 1998 and in accordance with the council’s Fair Processing Notice.