Dutch-style ‘plot-shops’ key to increasing self-build development (report)

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  • Report urges Mayor to back creative self-build scheme
  • Only 10% of UK housing development is self-build – despite recent positive legislation
  • London Mayor encouraged to back roll out of innovative Plot Shop schemes across the Capital


A new report by London Assembly Member Shaun Bailey found self-build registrations have halved across London’s local authorities.

Self-build, which received a boost from changes in the law in 2015 and 2016, could help in the fight to build enough houses in the Capital for its growing population.

However, new research shows councils are failing to meet their obligations. Since 2016 only four serviced plots have been provided for the 4,852 registrants for self-build opportunities.

The report concludes that more needs to be done, and the Mayor should back an innovative scheme across London as part of a creative approach to the housing crisis.

A tried and tested scheme, which would see a network of ‘Plot Shops’ established across London, is proposed by Mr Bailey to address the decline in this building practice.

Widely used in the Netherlands and recently introduced in the UK, Plot Shops are an innovative way of selling building plots.

The stores allow buyers to easily browse available plots, view 3D models and artists’ impressions, as well as consult experts who are on hand for advice. Also included are Plot Passports which neatly include the main features, plans, designs, and permissions associated with a particular plot.

Among the report’s other recommendations are:

  • Money from the Mayor’s housing budget can be used to set up the stores
  • A dedicated hub website for the scheme, providing buyers with information about availability in their chosen geographical area
  • A special Mayoral self-build scheme that utilises available land from the Greater London Authority and Transport for London 

London Assembly Member Shaun Bailey commented: “Plot shops are an innovative approach that makes self-build far more straightforward and accessible to the average person. They are an under-exploited way of providing new homes by allowing development to be funded directly by small builders.

“This report highlights the need for more effort in this area to provide another weapon in the armoury to combat the housing crisis.

“There is a great deal of potential in this area that we need to tap into. The Mayor is uniquely able to help promote self-build in London. He should consider implementing this innovative system as part of a creative approach to tackling one of London’s most serious problems.”


The full report – Plotting Your Future: Rolling out Plot Shops for self-builders can be downloaded here PlottingYourFuture

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