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Build your own home

We are required under the Self-Build and Custom Housebuilding Act 2015 to keep a register of people who are interested in self-build or custom-build projects in the area. This helps us understand the level of demand for self-build and custom-build plots in Dorset.

By signing up to the register, we can inform you if serviced plots become available to purchase. Serviced plots are plots of land that we own or acquire, that have planning permission and are ready to build on.

If you live in Christchurch and East Dorset, you can download a form and email or post it to us:

Who can register

You can register if you are:

  • aged 18 or over
  • a British citizen, a national of an EEA State other than the United Kingdom, or a national of Switzerland
  • seeking (either alone or with others) to acquire a serviced plot of land in the relevant authority's area to build a house to occupy as your sole or main residence

If you are applying as a group or an association, each member must meet the eligibility criteria.

What self-build and custom-build housing is


You directly organise the design and construction of your own home. This covers a wide range of projects, including a traditional DIY self-build home to projects where you employ someone to build your home. Community-led projects can also be defined as self-build.


This involves working with a developer as an individual or a group to help build your own home. The developer may help to find a plot, manage the construction and arrange the finance for your new home. This is more of a hands-off approach, but your home will be tailored to match your individual requirements.

Affordable self-build housing

If you're on the housing register in Purbeck, you can apply to undertake a self-build to occupy as your own home. If we grant planning permission for an affordable self-build, a legal agreement will be in place to make sure that whenever it is resold, it continues to be low cost for future buyers on the housing register. See the Purbeck Affordable Housing Supplementary Planning Document from page 11 for more information.

Exemption from Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL)

CIL is a charge applied to new developments to help fund infrastructure in the area. Self-build homes are exempt from CIL.

There is no CIL charge in North Dorset.

Christchurch and East Dorset

Read more about CIL in Christchurch and East Dorset including the types of development exempt from CIL and how to apply for exemption.


In Purbeck self-build homes are subject to a legal charge that will expire after 3 years. If you sell before 3 years, you must pay the charge. Once you have lived in your home for 3 years, the charge is removed.

You must apply for a CIL exemption.

West Dorset, Weymouth and Portland

Read more about CIL in West Dorset, Weymouth and Portland and how self build and custom build projects can claim relief.

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