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Self and custom build

Self or custom build housing is housing built or commissioned by individuals or groups of individuals for their own occupation.

Register of Interest in Self and Custom Build

The ‘Register of Interest in Self and Custom Build in Cornwall’ will provide the evidence required to determine where demand for this type of housing is found. Individuals or Associations of Individuals can register their interest in this type of development. From 31 October 2021, Cornwall Council has operated a two-part register.

  • Part 1 is for people who can demonstrate a local connection
  • Part 2 is for everyone else

Please note, there is a £50 registration fee payable on submission of the form.

To claim a local connection, you must be either:

  • A current resident (lived in Cornwall for the last 3 years), or
  • Former resident (lived in Cornwall for at least 10 years of the first 16 years of life), or
  • In permanent employment in Cornwall (work at least 16 hours per week for a continuous period of 3 years), or
  • Have a family connection to Cornwall. (This means mother, father, brother, sister, son or daughter who have resided in Cornwall for at least the past 5 years)

You will need submit evidence to cover the appropriate timespan for the local connection you are wishing to claim i.e., 3, 5 or 10 years. For example, to demonstrate you have been a current resident for at least three years, you could submit three Council Tax bills for 2019, 2020 and 2021.  Details on how to do this are provided on the registration form.

  • Tenancy agreement
  • Council Tax bills
  • Bank/building society/credit card statements
  • Utility bills (gas, electric, telephone)
  • Letter from parents/close family member
  • Written certification from a Solicitor/Social Worker/Probation Officer/Inland Revenue Officer/Police Officer/Teacher or Doctor
  • P60 for each of the last 3 years
  • Payslips showing home address
  • Employment contract
  • letter from close family member and evidence of their residency

Register your interest online 

If you are unable to complete the online form, you can request a Microsoft Word version by emailing

Government guidance requires individuals and associations of individuals to provide certain details. These details are indicated on the form. By registering an interest you are agreeing that Cornwall Council may use the data it collects to understand the demand for custom build housing. The data will also help to support policies to improve the supply of land for self and custom build housing.

Policy Context

The Cornwall Local Plan policy is clear that self and custom build housing can make a contribution to meeting local housing need. It also states that both market and affordable housing can be developed as self or custom build housing. Policy 6: Housing Mix states that:

development should seek to address the need and demand for self-build and custom-build housing

The Council will work with developers on sites where the delivery of serviced plots for affordable housing are negotiated. This is to enable some of these to be offered for self-build where a need is identified.

The Cornwall Self-Build Annual Monitoring Report 2023 has now been published.

Further guidance is available in the Housing Supplementary Planning Document. It provides guidance on how individuals or associations of individuals can build affordable self and custom build homes.

Self and custom builders are subject to the same Planning rules as anyone else. They should also familiarise themselves with the planning application process. Planning advice and guidance is available from Cornwall Council using pre-application planning advice.

Further advice and guidance

There are a number of organisations that offer advice and guidance on self and custom build housing. While the Council does not endorse any of these sites you might find them helpful:

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