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Custom and self-build housing

What is custom and self-build?

  • Self-build housing is when someone organises the design and construction of their new home, either as an individual or a group.
  • Custom build housing is when someone commissions a specialist developer to help to deliver their own home.

Custom and self-build register

As a council we must keep a custom and self-build register to assess the level of interest in the district.  We use this register when carrying out our roles in relation to planning, housing, disposal of land and regeneration.

We use the register to inform us about the level of demand for serviced land plots in the district. This is so we can plan to meet this need. Entering the register does not guarantee that a suitable plot will be identified or made available to applicants. 

We have a legal duty to give planning permission for enough suitable serviced plots to meet the demand in the district. The level of demand is established by the number of entries added to Part 1 of the register during a base period. At the end of each period, we have 3 years in which to give an equivalent number of planning permissions for suitable plots.

Please note: this is not a duty to provide a plot directly to each individual on the register.

How is the register made up?

The register is divided into Part 1 and Part 2. Individuals or associations who apply and meet all the eligibility criteria and who have a local connection will be entered on Part 1. Those who meet all the eligibility criteria except for the local connection test will be entered on Part 2.

Am I eligible to apply?

Each individual applicant and every member of an association of individuals that applies for entry on the register must be:

  • aged 18 or over;
  • a British citizen, a national of an EEA state other than the UK or a national of Switzerland; and,
  • seeking (either alone or with others) a serviced plot of land in the district to build a house to occupy as your sole or main residence.

For entry onto Part 1, applicants and all members of an association must also meet at least one criteria of the local connection test.

At this stage, you are making no commitment - we are trying to find out how much local demand there is for self-build housing. You are agreeing that we can use the data you provide to understand the demand for custom-build and self-build housing.

The register will not be a public document, but we may publish headline data from it.

What is the local connection test?

  • have lived in the Chichester District Local Plan area (i.e., not in the South Downs national Park) for at least 2 years immediately prior to the date you apply to join the register; or,
  • have been employed in the district for more than 16 hours per week for the last two years; or,
  • have close family who have lived in the district as their main place of residence for the last five years and need the support of the close family or the close family needs the support of the applicant; or,
  • have been in the service of the regular armed forces or have left the service of the armed forces for a period of five years or less.

An association is eligible for Part 1 of the register if each member meets the criteria set out above.

We may ask for further evidence to support your application at later date if required. If you don't have a connection to the local area, you can join Part 2 of the register. 

Before joining the register it's useful to think about the costs involved and how you might fund your project. Build costs will naturally depend upon your specification, there are lots of helpful online tools that can assist you with this but as a rule you should think about the following:

  • custom / self-build option
  • construction method, such as brick or timber frame
  • roofing materials, external wall construction such as stone or brick
  • budget for renewable energy sources
  • garage need
  • length of driveway
  • property type
  • floor area in square meters or square feet
  • heating specification
  • budget for kitchen and bathroom
  • external landscaping

Visit the government's Help to Build Scheme (opens new window) for further information.

Join our register

If you would like to join our register your interest for a custom or self-build plot, please complete the application form.

Register your interest for custom and self-build housing

  • We don't currently charge a fee to join the Chichester Self/Custom build register.
  • We do not formally support any commercial body or organisation delivering custom build housing.

What happens next?

We will ask you to provide us with ID to prove your eligibility to join the register, once we have received this we will add your details to the register.

If, and when serviced plots are granted planning consent (these will generally be via a larger development scheme,) we will advertise these plots on our web site and will write out to people on our register to advise them that plots are available. 

We cannot guarantee how many of these plots will come forward, so we strongly recommend that you try and find your own plot of land on which to build.  You can search for a plot of land (opens new window)

Summary of the custom and self-build register

  • In the base period 31 October 2022- 30 October 2023, 46 applicants were added to Part 1 of the register.
  • 8 applicants were added to Part 2.
  • As of the 30 October 2023 there are a total of 66 applicants on Part 1 of the register and 9 in Part 2.
  • There are no associations of individuals on the register.

Age of applicants      

Number of applicants      

Current accommodation      

Number of current accommodations   

Under 30


Existing homeowner




Housing Association




Living with friends/relatives




Privately renting














Type of build

Type of build


Preferred ownership




Owner Occupier


Group Build




Developer Build




 Preferred number of bedrooms

Preferred no of bedrooms   


Financing of build


1 bed


Help to Build equity loan scheme


2 beds


Sale of existing home plus savings    


3 beds


Other borrowing


4 beds


Sale of existing home


5 beds




Custom and self build plot monitoring

Base period

Number of applicants added to the register   

Number of plots granted planning permission 

Period 1 (1 Apr 16 - 30 Oct 16)     



Period 2 (31 Oct 16 - 30 Oct 17)



Period 3 (31 Oct 17 - 30 Oct 18)



Period 4 (31 Oct 18 - 30 Oct 19)



Period 5 (31 Oct 19 - 30 Oct 20)



Period 6 (31 Oct 20 - 30 Oct 21)



Period 7 (31 Oct 21 - 30 Oct 22)



Period 8 (31 Oct 22 - 30 Oct 23)