Topsham builder wants DIY build team
PEOPLE hoping to get a foot on the property ladder are being sought to join a community self-build initiative.
Topsham builder Rob White, 28, who specialises in restoration work, is trying to set up a scheme locally.
It involves around 10-20 like-minded people clubbing together and forming a housing co-operative, buying a plot of land and then financing the build of their homes.
Benefits of the scheme include it being a far cheaper way to buy a home and flexibility over home design.
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Downsides of the scheme include the time it can take to form a group and overcoming disagreements.
It is helpful, though not essential, for some members to be tradespeople because of the expertise they can offer.
Once formed, groups then work with their local authority to come up with a plan.
Rob has been working with a housing enabling officer at East Devon District Council who has been offering his advice including information about possible sources of funding.
The council's emerging Local Plan recognises the contribution of self-build plots to the supply of new housing and how the scheme contributes to providing a range of homes available. Rob wants to hear from anyone who is interested in getting involved.
"Myself and lots of my friends are finding it hard to get on the property ladder," he said.
"It's hard to find a nice house for a reasonable price in East Devon so the self-build scheme is one of the cheapest ways to get on the property ladder.
"But for me, it's not just about this but about doing something different and helping myself and others get a nice place to live. The project has a community focus and allows you to have a say over the design of your home – I am interested in making it as sustainable and eco-friendly as possible."
Rob said he is also attracted to the challenge of the project and believe the pros outweigh the cons.
"It's a big commitment and lots of discussions and decision making among the group will need to take place, he added. "But I believe the challenge will be worth it."
The young builder is also setting up a group page on the Devon Community Build website www.communitybuild. org.uk
A council spokesman said: "In principle the council is in favour of self-build schemes, especially if the right sites can be identified.
"A significant proportion of planning permissions for housing in East Devon are on individual plots, which are likely to be available to those wishing to build their own house."
To get in touch with Rob email email@example.com