New group launches to help Richmondshire house self-builders

RSBA advisor members on site in Brompton-on Swale, from left, Dan Gracey, Richard Rutherford, Matt Ball, Trudi Brunskill, Nigel Laborde and Donald Cline.

A new organisation has been launched to help Richmondshire residents create their own dream home.

The Richmondshire Self & Custom-Build Association (RSBA) has been formed by a group of like-minded enthusiasts to assist anyone who has self-build aspirations.

All advice and support is free once you become a member and there is no cost to membership.

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According to Ipsos MORI research, one in seven Britons, around seven million people, would prefer to live in a house that they had a hand in building.

But each year only a few thousand people – around 12,000 –  manage to fulfil their dreams.

Self-build is a catchall term that is applied to people who play a part in creating the housing that best suits their personal needs.

However, self-build does not necessarily mean, hammering in all the nails or plastering all the walls, as often these tasks are done by skilled trades-people.

Still, this is quite a different approach to what the majority of the population do, when they buy new homes, which is usually to just purchase them ‘off the peg’ from one of the major commercial housebuilders.

Self-built homes are often less expensive because their owners save money on stamp duty and VAT, plus the big building company’s profit

This type of housing is often designed better and built to a superior standard.

The Richmondshire Self & Custom-Build Association (RSBA) is a voluntary group of individuals who say that between they have years of experience in getting buildings built.

Their skills include all aspects of construction, architecture, landscape design, self-build finance, planning and the law surrounding land purchase and public liability.

Donald Cline, who has lived in Richmond for more than 40 years, has assisted in putting this non-commercial not-for-profit organisation together.

He said: “The shortage of high quality housing, right across the country, is one of the nation’s key societal issues of our time.

“The idea behind the RSBA is to demystify all aspects of house building and give people living in the area the ‘tools they need’ to at least consider whether ‘self-build’ might be a possibility for them.”

Recent changes to the national legislative framework mean that local authorities must record the interest of latent ‘self-builders’ and to help, using planning policy, to find suitable building plots where this type of housing can be delivered.

For more details on self-building and the RSBA click here.