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Luton Borough Council

Self and custom build register

The Self-Build and Custom Housebuilding Act 2015 places a duty on councils to keep a register of eligible individuals and associations who wish to self-build. A summary of the definitions of Self-Build provided by the Act is as follows:

  • Individual custom build:
    An individual purchases a plot and builds a home for themselves to live in. The owner of the house must have primary input into its final design and layout. You can employ builders, architects and project managers to oversee the building project.
  • Group custom build - (association):
    An association of individuals purchases a plot and builds a home, or with the assistance of a developer, for themselves to live in.
  • Developer led build:
    A developer divides a larger site and not individual plots and provides a development service to an individual who wants to design their own home.

The Council’s register is used to identify demand for Self-Build and is divided into two parts:

Part one: keeps track of local demand for Self-Build opportunities. Individuals or associations will be entered on to part one register if they meet the eligibility criteria in full and also have a local connection. The Council has a duty to grant an equivalent number of planning permissions for serviced plots suitable for Self-Build to the demand on part one register.

Part two: keeps track of general demand for Self-Build opportunities. Individuals or associations will be entered on to part two register if they meet the eligibility criteria in full, but do not meet the local connection test. Applicants who do not have a local connection are not required to fill out the local connection test within the application form.

For monitoring purposes please include a reference to Self-Build or Custom Build in the description of planning applications, to help us identify applications suitable for Self-Build.

Please note that applicants for both registers must provide evidence to demonstrate that they meet the eligibility conditions and, if applicable, the local connection test.

All applications must be made in writing. If you are applying on behalf of an association, each member must satisfy the eligibility and, if applicable, the local connection conditions.

The criteria used to determine eligibility is outlined below:

Eligibility requirements:

  • be aged 18 or over
  • a British citizen or
  • a national of an EEA state other than the UK
  • a citizen of Switzerland
  • seeking (either alone or with others) to acquire a serviced plot of land in the relevant authority’s area for their own self-build and custom housebuilding
Evidence for eligibility may include, but is not limited to:
  • Full birth or adoption certificate issued in the UK
  • Passport
  • National identify card
  • Home Office documents confirming nationality

Local connection test:

  • have lived in the Borough of Luton continuously for the previous five years or
  • been in paid employment continuously in the Borough of Luton for the previous year (one year) or
  • have an immediate family member who has lived in Luton continuously for the past five years (definition of Immediate family: spouse, parent, child or sibling. Please note that step or half relatives count as full relatives) or
  • currently in the service of the regular or reserve armed forces of the Crown or have applied within five years of discharge (the tests will also be met where another household member meets this test, including cases of bereavement but not lodgers)
Evidence for a local connection may include, but is not limited to:
  • Household utility bills
  • Council tax bills
  • Tenancy agreement/ mortgage statement
  • Documentation of your relationship to an immediate family member (e.g birth certificate, marriage certificate) & proof of their residency
  • HM Revenues & Customs tax documents
  • Employment contract
  • Written letter from your employer
  • Identity card issued by one of HM's UK armed forces
  • Confirmation document issued by one of HM's UK armed forces or the Secretary of State
  • Discharge papers/ form

You will need to provide evidence showing that you or an immediate family member lived in Luton for each calendar year over the past five years

Evidence can be submitted to [email protected]

Registration doesn't guarantee that a plot will be granted that meets the requirements of the person or association in full. Neither does it guarantee that a plot will be identified, or become available for purchase.
We do not offer assistance to individual self-build or custom house builders in terms of identifying or securing plots.
However, the Council will have regard to both part one and part two registers when delivering its Planning, Housing, Land Disposal and Regeneration functions, as per statutory requirements.

Determination of applications:

  • The Council has 28 days to determine the outcome of an application from when the application was received, and a further 28 days to confirm, in writing, the outcome of the application to the applicant
  • We may remove an entry from the register if we consider that the entry is no longer eligible. Should this happen, we will notify the individual/ association in writing and provide reasons for the decision

Should your circumstances change from when your original application was submitted, or you would like to be removed from the register, please contact [email protected]

For further information on the Self-Build legislation and useful Links please visit:

The form below is an expression of interest and will help shape and provide valuable information for the Council’s future Self and Custom Build Programme.

Your privacy

We will not pass identifiable information from the register onto anyone outside the council without the written consent of the person who registered their details.

We will keep a register of people and associations that are interested in acquiring service plots of land in the borough of Luton in order to build homes that they will occupy.

For information on how we use your data, please read our privacy policy.

Filling out the questions

Please fill in the questions fully. This will give us a clear picture of details such as size, budget, building preferences and the design of the home you would like to build.

If you have any questions or if you would like to suggest a suitable plot for Self-Build please email [email protected]

If you meet the above eligibility requirements and the local connection test please click the register button below:


© 2024 Luton Council, Town Hall, Luton LU1 2BQ