Mayor Boris Johnson launches new scheme to help Londoners build their own homes

The capital's aspiring Grand Designers have received a boost from the Mayor as a new initiative launches to help Londoners to find plots of land - and get expert guidance with their builds.
Mayor Boris Johnson is setting up a register of Londoners who want to “custom build” a home by asking them to list their preferred borough.

The Build Your Own London Home Register launches this week and will initially give City Hall a database showing the level of demand for self-builds.
 
The Mayor then hopes to matchmake interested buyers with councils that have brownfield sites, as well as developers and companies that can work with them.
 
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Plans for one of the capital’s first custom build projects are under way at Custom House in East London. Image: Make Architects

 “People do not necessarily want to do it all themselves from scratch,” said deputy mayor Richard Blakeway. “But they might want to take a shell and customise it.”
 
Finding a site is often the toughest challenge that self-builders face, particularly in London, where the cost of the land is the most expensive element of a project.
 
Amateurs are also often deterred by the complexity of building a house.
 
The type of plots that become available are likely to be quite tricky infill sites that could daunt most go-it-alone house builders.

However, by the end of the year Mr Johnson hopes enough people will have registered to allow City Hall to map levels of demand across London.
 
Next year, “serious conversations” will start with landowners and developers to match that demand with aspiring new home builders.

Plans for one of the capital’s first custom build projects are underway at Custom House in East London. Planning permission has been granted for nine new homes and is hoped that housing association East Thames, in association with Newham Council, will start work next year on a council-owned site currently used for garages. 

The Mayor’s register can be accessed at www.london.gov.uk/buildyourownhome.

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