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Custom and self build housing

Interested in a custom build project? Declare your interest on our self build register

Fenland District Council has a register for people who are looking to buy a serviced plot of land to build their own home. It is controlled by government legislation.

The government asks us to compare the number of people on the register against the number of planning permissions granted/number of dwellings actually built as self build/custom homes. If the number of people on the register is greater than the number of planning permissions/homes actually built then the government states that there should be a tilted balance in favour of granting planning permission for self build/custom homes.

In Fenland's case, the number of homes that get built as custom/self builds is far greater than the number of people on the register of interest. Given this, you may like to consider receiving notifications of new planning applications as an alternative to going on the custom and self build register. This way you will be able to receive early information about potential buildings plots.

To get automatic email notifications about planning applications submitted to the Council, please go to our Public Access webpage and click on the 'register' button at the top of the page. You will be able to customise which applications you get notifications for and also the geographic location.

To see a list of planning permissions granted which potentially could be built as self and custom build plots, please see our List of Planning Permissions for Self/Custom Build (PDF) [102KB] . You can view these applications on our Public Access webpage.

To go on the Custom and Self Build register, you must be:

  • aged 18 or over
  • a British citizen, a national of an EEA state other than the United Kingdom or a national of Switzerland
  • seeking (alone or with others) to get a serviced plot of land in our district to build a house. You must then live in the house you build as your sole or main residence

There is a fee to go on the register. 

You can apply at any time. 

Apply to be on the Custom and Self Build Register

Local connection test

You must meet the local connection test to be on 'Part 1' of the register. This means you must:

  • currently live (or have lived) within the Fenland district for 6 of the last 12 months or 3 of the last five years; or
  • currently work within the Fenland district; or
  • have an immediate family member living within the Fenland district (such as a parent, child, sibling); or
  • be in service of the regular or reserve armed forces of the Crown or have applied within 5 years of discharge and would have met any of the above when you began service.

There is no direct benefit to being on Part 1 of the register for individuals or associations. However, we have a duty to facilitate the provision of enough serviced plots of land to meet the demands of Part 1 applicants within a 3 year period. 

Parts of the register

Part 1 lists who meets the eligibility criteria and local connection test. 

Part 2 lists who meets the eligibility criteria but not the local connection test. 

Registration does not guarantee a suitable plot will be found or become available. 


New applicants must pay a registration fee of £30.

Each member of an association must pay £30.

Payment is collected on the registration form. 

Staying on the register

To stay on the register, you need to complete an updated registration form and pay the annual fee of £30 by October 30. 

Reminders are sent out in September. 

If you don't re-register, you'll be taken off the list. You can re-register again at any time. 

How information is used

The register is used to help us understand local demand for custom build plots and house sizes. It is not a public document.

We will not share identifiable information outside the council without written consent from the person who registered. 

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