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Green Building Bible, Fourth Edition
Green Building Bible, fourth edition (both books)
These two books are the perfect starting place to help you get to grips with one of the most vitally important aspects of our society - our homes and living environment.

PLEASE NOTE: A download link for Volume 1 will be sent to you by email and Volume 2 will be sent to you by post as a book.

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    • CommentTimeNov 12th 2020
    Last year I commented on a draft of our new Local Plan, specifically on the self-build requirements (and lack thereof in the plan :cry: ). There's a new draft out for review now, which again makes no provision to provide self-build plots, merely offering 'support' for third-party proposals. Does anybody keep up to date with this kind of thing? Is this allowable, or can they be persuaded to actively seek to provide plots? FWIW, as of two-and-a-half years ago they had 164 people registered on their register as wanting a plot. I don't think they are meeting the NPPF: "NPPF para. 61 states that LPAs should plan for the needs of those wishing to build their own homes."

    What does the team think? And ideally can provide a solid reference for? :bigsmile:
    • CommentAuthorMike1
    • CommentTimeNov 13th 2020
    This is the page you need: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/self-build-and-custom-housebuilding#land-duties

    Relevant authorities should consider how they can best support self-build and custom housebuilding in their area. This could include: developing policies in their Local Plan for self-build and custom housebuilding; etc.
    • CommentAuthorRex
    • CommentTimeNov 13th 2020
    I was on the housing committee of our parish council when they were drawing up the Neighbourhood Plan. As commented above, there was very little provision for self-builds.

    However, one of the points I wanted mentioned in the Neighbourhood Plan was some provision for 'modern' designs, rather than the strong bias towards rejection because it did not adhere to the traditional / historic style. Of course, this did not happen and the wording is in favour of the traditional.

    I does interest me that in 50 or (100) years time, what will people (assuming that Covid has not wiped out the population!) think of 21st century domestic architecture; the predominant style is developer estate boxes that are all built to a cost saving formula.
    • CommentTimeNov 13th 2020
    The characteristic style of each era reflects the economics of the time - except that what survives isn't necessarily representative, because the average gerrybuilt hovel has disappeared, leaving only the buildings of the more prosperous, or the institutional ones. That will probably be the fate of the 1980s into 21C developer estates. They may not just fall down, but be demolished for new estates. I wouldn't want my equity tied up in any such buildings.
    • CommentAuthorowlman
    • CommentTimeNov 13th 2020 edited
    Gerrybuilt hovels; houses of the prosperous; or institutional buildings: I'm not sure which of these descriptions fit the countless rows of "back to backs" that still populate many of our old industrial landscapes.:bigsmile: I do agree however that much of late 20C stuff is destined for the bin.

    On Rex's architectural comment I think much of the adherence to the traditional, is public pressure driven, as well as a lack of contemporary or innovative design sense from both house buyers, and planners alike.
    I've recently watched the total, and I suspect, very expensive refurbishment of an uninspiring, quite boring, "design wise" unlisted Victorian red brick detached house. Not a huge volume interior, so I guess no IWI, still keeping the brick exterior, so no EWI, but Ah!, what lovely facsimiles of sliding sash windows, at best slim 2G. There's a new roof, a replica of the old, except now with an addition of gable parapet walls just to accentuate the pastiche effect. A wonderful opportunity missed, there is no hope.
    Is the equity is better tied up in such buildings, I don't know.
    • CommentTimeNov 13th 2020
    Posted By: owlmanthe countless rows of "back to backs" that still populate many of our old industrial landscapes
    Gd point - I should have added that thro the 100yrs say 1870 to 1970, default building techniques became quite sound, as municipal things in general - main thing would be decent foundations. After that, it was the superstructure that became cheapened to sticks and cardboard.
    • CommentTimeNov 13th 2020 edited
    fostertom alluded to 'gerrybuilt' dwellings.

    I feel I should point out that they are actually built by Jerry. There's nothing wrong with Gerry's building skills.

    There's an excellent article at:
    • CommentTimeNov 13th 2020 edited
    Posted By: Mike1This is the page you need: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/self-build-and-custom-housebuilding#land-duties

    Thanks, Mike. I'm now busy reading that and the 100s of pages of 'evidence' that our district council has paid to have written.

    FWIW, their proposed policy is:

    Policy LP11 - Self-Build and Custom-Build
    1. The Councils will support proposals for self-build/custom-build housing or proposals that
    make a proportion of serviced dwelling plots available for sale to self-builders or custom
    builders, on appropriate sites and where in compliance with all other relevant policies of this
    2. Special protection must be given to the landscape, biodiversity and the historic environment.
    3. The proposal must not cause significant harm to residential amenity.
    4. The proposal must minimise the impact of development on climate change and will be
    expected to minimise dependence on fossil fuels and make the fullest contribution to the
    mitigation of climate change through implementation of sustainable construction practices
    and renewable energy technologies.

    i.e. nothing at all constructive and as many obstacles as they can think of!!!! Grr :devil:
    • CommentTime10 hours ago
    I'm revisiting this - there's now a deadline of 24 Dec for another set of comments on the revised draft they've now produced.

    I've been trying to get the council to tell me what they've actually been doing, other than setting up a register. But I haven't had much success - my local councillor (a Green) passed me to one of his mates who is more involved (also a Green) but said colleague seems to be of the obstructionist persuasion so I'm trying to think what else I can do.

    One thought I had was to write to the planning department and ask them what information they have published on the subject. It's my understanding that by now they should have begun issuing planning permissions on allocated self or custom build sites to matche the number of people on their register three years ago. But do they have to publish that information?

    If anybody knows anything relevant, I'd love to know it.

    There seem to be many self-build sites keen to help potential self-builders but I haven't found anything useful so far.
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