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Self-build and custom-build homes

Local councils are required to keep a register of people interested in building their own home. This will help us assess the level of demand for self-build and custom-build homes in the borough.

Building bricks

What is self-build and custom build?

There are two routes for people wanting to play a role in developing their own homes:

  • Self-build homes are where you directly organise the design and construction of your new home. This can range from a DIY self-build home, where the builder does much of the construction work themselves, to arranging an architect/contractor to design and build your home for you. Projects involving kit-home companies fall within this category.
  • Custom-build homes are where a specialist developer can help find a site, manage the construction work and deliver your new home.  

In each instance, the owner of the home must have primary input into its final design and layout.

Self-build and custom-build homes require planning permission and will be subject to relevant planning policies. If you would like further advice, this is available through our Planning pre-application advice service.

Are you eligible?

If you wish to register your interest in building your own home in Guildford borough, you need to confirm with supporting documentation that you meet the eligibility criteria.

Joining the register

If you wish to join the register, you can:

If you are already on the register, you can renew your Self-build and Custom Housebuilding Register membership.

If you are a couple or members of the same household, please apply as an individual applicant and nominate one person as the 'lead contact'. A separate form is required for the lead member and a form for each individual member of an interested association.

We will notify you within 28 days if you are eligible to join Part 1 or 2 of the Register.

If you do not meet the local connections criteria but you meet all other eligibility criteria you can go onto Part 2 of the Register. Entries onto Part 2 of the Register do not count as demand but we will have regard to them when carrying out our planning, housing, land disposal and regeneration functions.


The non-refundable entry and annual renewal fees are as follows:

  • £27 for new applications and Associations preliminary application. Free for every additional member of an Association.
  • £11 annual renewal fee due by 31 October of every year, regardless of the date of joining the register. 
  • £11 for those wishing to go on Part 2 of the register.

Please note, by registering, you are agreeing that we can use the information you provide to understand the demand for people wishing to build their own homes. The register will not be a public document but we may publish data from it that will not be attributable to individuals. Your personal details will remain confidential and are for use by Guildford Borough Council only. We will not sell your information to other organisations or move your information beyond the UK.

The information requested is required to determine whether the applicant is eligible for entry onto the Self-build and Custom Housebuilding Register and to help the Council understand the level of demand for self-build and custom housebuilding in its administrative area. Applicants must provide the mandatory information requested to join the register.

Acceptance onto the register does not guarantee the offer of a self-build or custom housebuilding plot. Work on the provision of self-build and custom housebuilding plots is at an early stage and we do not wish to raise applicants' hopes at this time. We will seek to meet demand through granting suitable development permission for serviced plots of land and envisage that self and custom build plots will primarily be located on new large housing sites. The plots will be capable of having access to a public highway and connections to electricity, water and wastewater, and sold at market value.

Personal Information

Upon request, the Council will provide applicants with a copy of their personal information held in regards to the Self-build and custom housebuilding register. The Council's Planning Services department is responsible for processing the data and holding the register. All enquiries should be addressed to planningpolicy@guildford.gov.uk

View Guildford Borough Council's Privacy Statement

View Guildford Borough Council's Self-build and custom housebuilding privacy statement