Self-Build Housing on Exmoor

A Guide to Custom and Self-Build Affordable Housing on Exmoor

The National Park Authority recognises that high house prices and rents mean that for many people with strong local connections it is difficult to find a home within their community. There are a range of opportunities to enable local people to meet their housing needs, with custom and self-build housing providing one of the options for affordable housing on Exmoor. This guide has been produced to assist those considering a custom or self-build project. It highlights available options, as well as providing initial guidance on finding land, financing, and useful key contacts for further information.

The guide is available to download as a pdf here.

Register Your Interest in Self Build

Who can go on the Register?

In accordance with the Regulations our self build register is divided into two parts.

An individual is eligible for entry in Part 2 of the register if they are:

  • Aged 18 or older;
  • A British citizen, a national of a EEA State other than the United Kingdom, or a national of Switzerland; and
  • Seeking (either alone or with others) to acquire a serviced plot of land on which to build a house

Only one individual per household can apply to go on to the register. The only alternative to this is if there is a person currently in your household who wishes to form an independent household. Associations or a group of self-builders can also register an interest, but must have a lead contact.

Our Local Plan policies focus on providing affordable housing for those people with a local connection. In order to join an affordable self-build in Exmoor National Park you will need to demonstrate that you have a local connection to Exmoor. An individual is eligible for entry in Part 1 of the register if they meet all of the above criteria and have a local connection to the area they wish to build. The local connection tests are based on the local occupancy criteria for affordable housing in the Local Plan:


  • An individual who must have lived permanently in the National Park and been on the electoral roll for at least 10 continuous years in the last 30 years


  • must have a permanent job in Exmoor National Park


  • want their own self-or custom build home in Exmoor National Park to occupy as their sole or main residence.

OR the for the purposes of the register:

  • A member of the regular armed forces as set out in Section 374 of the Armed Forces Act 2006 (as amended) or an individual who has left the service for a period of 10 years or less

To complete the form the following information will also be beneficial:

  • The maximum budget for your finished home
  • Your household's annual income
  • Information regarding your savings, assets and investments
Two Part Self Build Register Form (Word)Two Part Self Build Register Form (Word)
Two Part Self Build Register Form (PDF)Two Part Self Build Register Form (PDF)

Completed forms can be sent electronically to or posted to: Self Build Register, Policy & Community Team, Exmoor National Park Authority, Exmoor House, Dulverton, Somerset TA22 9HL

Once we have received your completed form we will:

  1. Determine your application within 28 days of receiving it.
  2. If the application is eligible for entry on Part 1 of the register, we will make the entry and let you know that this has been done in writing within 28 days of determining the application. If the application is from an association, we will only notify the lead contact as identified in the application.
  3. If the application is either not eligible for entry on the register or is only eligible for Part 2, we will write to you to explain the reasons within 28 days of determining the application. If the application is from an association, we will only notify the lead contact as identified in the application.

In order to keep the custom/self-build register up to date we may contact you from time to time to check whether you wish to remain on the register.  We appreciate that your circumstances may change and you may find a plot or decide that self/custom build is not for you. You may apply for removal from the register at any time.  In addition if we consider that an individual or member of any association is no longer eligible for entry on the register, we may remove the entry from the register.  In such cases we will notify the individual (or lead contact in the case of an association) in writing within 28 days of the date of our decision, giving the reasons for the decision.


The data you provide will be used by Exmoor National Park Authority to compile the self build register, as required by the Self-build and Custom Housebuilding Act 2015. No data will be published which can identify an individual. All data will be stored securely and in accordance to current data legislation (GDPR and DPA 2018). Exmoor National Park Authority is registered with the ICO as a data controller. The purpose of collecting this data is to enable an assessment of ability to undertake a self-build project and to identify potential self-build opportunities and it will not be used for any other purpose. We will never use your data for marketing purposes. Our full Privacy Policy can be found on our website.

Frequently Asked Questions

You can apply by completing the self build register form and sending it to us. Please note the above information which will help you complete the form.

Judgements on eligibility to join the register must be based on the information provided, and considered against the definition above. However if you do feel you have been assessed incorrectly, please contact Exmoor National Park Authority.

Exmoor National Park Authority will be able to consider the number and type of households on Parts 1 and 2 of the Register as evidence around the interest in self-build.

We will remove an entry from the register within 28 days of receiving a written request from the individual or association representing that individual. We will remove an entry from the register if we consider that they are no longer eligible for entry on the register and will notify them in writing.

Self-build can be a good way to provide your own affordable home through involvement in its construction, and not having to factor in developer profit - which helps to save money, making it potentially more achievable for households who would otherwise be unable to afford to buy their own home in the National Park.  The Exmoor National Park Local Plan only permits self build homes for those in affordable housing need with a proven local connection to Exmoor. In the long term a legal agreement will be used to ensure that any new self build home can only be occupied by those who:

  • are in need of affordable housing
  • are unable to afford to buy housing suitable for their needs on the open market prices, and
  • have an appropriate local connection to the area.

This approach is set out in our Local Plan.