- To create an exemplar and innovative living community of homes with a real sense of place and quality of design recapturing the Dartington Estates ethos of building communities and homes for “many sided living.”
- To demonstrate a ‘new model’ to deliver attractive aesthetically pleasing modern housing that is value for money and highly energy efficient.
- To provide a mix of market and lower cost affordable housing.
- To make the self-build process as simple as possible with a clearly defined route to delivery – the majority of homes will be ‘self-commissioned’ and constructed in whole or to shell and core stage by selected delivery partners.
- To provide for lower impact living including as much use of sustainable and local construction materials as possible.
- To act as an exemplar project, which should be replicable, maximising the learning opportunity.
Where is the proposed self and custom build site?
How do I sign up?
Will I have to be assessed?
No, but in order to reserve a market plot you will need to demonstrate that you have sufficient funds, or can access them through raising a mortgage, to acquire the land and build a home.
Will there be an affordable housing provision?
We are exploring alternative methods for delivering the affordable self build plots and these will at a minimum have a local connections condition. The on-line register will provide an opportunity to express your interest in accessing an affordable tenure plot. If you are interested in a shared ownership home you should register here, if you have not already done so.
What is the difference between self build, self finish and custom build?
A self build house is constructed or project managed by the owner. With a custom built home, the owner commissions a builder to construct the house to their design and specification. It is quite possible to combine the two mechanisms and commission a house to be constructed to a wind and watertight stage and then the buyer completes the internal fit out. This is sometimes known as ‘self finish’.
Can I buy a plot and hire someone to build a home for me?
Yes, we will encourage you to obtain quote(s) from our approved framework contractors and custom build providers. Alternative contractors, including self-builders, will be considered where the contractor can demonstrate ability to meet the Project Mangers delivery criteria, site rules and comply with CDM etc.
When will the land be available to purchase?
We are aiming to submit a planning application in winter 2016/17 and anticipate serviced plots available for sale in 2018, with plots being available for a reservation fee from mid 2017. We will be able to provide a more accurate timescale once our planning application has been registered.
How much will the plots cost?
Prices will be announced shortly. The price will include foundations and services ready for connection.
Can I reserve a plot?
Yes, when the plots are released, after fully understanding the constraints and opportunities within the Design Code each plot can be reserved with a non-refundable fee.
Can I rent the home, or use it as a holiday home? Can I sell the house upon completion?
We are trying to create a new community and not speculative development. You must live in the house as your primary residence for a minimum period of 5 years from practical completion. If you are forced to sell within 5 years, 50% of any uplift in market value, determined by an independent valuer, must be paid to Dartington Hall Trust.
How quickly must I build the house?
You must achieve practical completion within 18 months of purchasing the plot. In the event that you fail to achieve this timescale the seller will repurchase the plot at the price you paid less a margin to cover costs. This is to ensure that the whole scheme is completed within an acceptable timescale and to avoid other residents living on a building site for many years. Insurance cover is available to protect buyers against unforeseen delays.
Can I live in a mobile home on site whilst building my house?
Due to health and safety issues on a construction site this will not be permitted.
What can I build?
Your home must comply with the design code and full details of the build will have to be agreed with the Planning Authority and Dartington Hall Trust before completing the sale of a plot. Working with one of our framework contractors and within the Plot Passport will provide quick approval of details. A copy of the draft design code is available here (TO FOLLOW).
What is a ‘plot passport’?
Plot passports cover the key elements of each plot including the build area, maximum ridge height, parking spaces, the overall size of the home and materials pallets and minimum standards for sustainability and renewable energy. It captures all the information from the design code, master plan and planning permission for each plot in an easy to understand format.
Do I have to live in Dartington to buy a plot?
Half of the plots are being offered on the open market to anyone wishing to build, own and occupy their bespoke home. If you wish to register for an affordable plot there will be local connection requirements and other requirement. More information will be available once you have registered interest. If you are interested in a shared ownership home you should register here, if you have not already done so.
Do I have to get planning permission?
Planning for the site layout and services is being secured by DHT. We are working with the Planning Authority (South Hams District Council) to streamline the planning for the details of each home. We have suggested to local planning authority officers that they consider a Local Development Order (LDO) to help streamline the self-build process as other councils have done. A LDO could ensure that any design that meets the design code and streamline the process for approval of details. You will need to design your home in accordance with the design code and plot passport and submit this to DHT for approval.
Will I have to obtain Building Regulation approval?
Yes – your contractor will need to submit an application and the home must comply with current regulations as a minimum. The Building Inspector will want to inspect and approve each stage. If you are seeking a mortgage, your lender will also want to inspect and approve each stage.
Can I buy 2 plots and construct a larger house?
No – homes can only be constructed in accordance with the design code and plot passports.
What are the rules on sustainability?
We encourage you to construct your home to be as energy efficient as possible. Every home must, as a minimum, meet the energy efficiency standards of Building Regulations (Part L), and AECB Silver standard.
What about VAT, Stamp Duty and what is a ‘Golden Brick’?
All of the plots will be sold with the foundations, substructure walls, drainage and utility connections already in place. This is known as a Golden Brick sale and is necessary in order that the sale constitutes the grant of a first major interest in a residential dwelling which currently attracts a zero rating for Value Added Tax. Stamp Duty (SDLT) is paid separately on the plot rather than a completed home which represents a significant saving.
Is there a warranty on my new home?
Dartington Hall Trust will provide a collateral warranty from our contractor for the site infrastructure works including slabs or foundations. It will be a condition of plot purchase that each build contractor provides an acceptable warranty.
Is there a service charge?
The roads will not be adopted by the Council, but will belong to the residents via a management company, along with the shared landscape and growing areas. A service charge will be levied, apportioned by plot area, to recover the cost of maintaining the shared areas. Initially Dartington Hall Trust will run the management company, but as plots are sold and homes are completed, shares will be transferred to residents who will subsequently set the budget at the AGM. An estimate of the likely service charge will be provided shortly.
What will my Council tax band be?
This will be set by the Valuation Office once the house is complete and will depend upon it’s size.
What services will be provided?
Mains water and foul drainage will be provided. Electricity and mains gas connections will be delivered to each plot. BT Open Reach site indicates up to 12.5Mbs is available at this postcode.
Can I save money by self / custom building?
Yes, a properly planned and executed project can save at least 10%, and often more, over the cost of a ready made new home. You save money by cutting out the ‘middle man’, i.e. the developer, who has to price in risk against the market falling, unexpected ground conditions etc. You will only pay stamp duty on the plot, not the completed value. You can save significantly more if you have the skills and experience to undertake some of the work yourself.
Is a timber frame home cheaper than using traditional masonry construction?
Both materials are roughly similar in cost, but it does depend on the design. However timber frame is constructed in a factory and assembled on site, so is less weather dependant and quicker, resulting in less risk and more cost certainty. Timber frame can have better energy efficiency.
How much deposit will I need?
Subject to status up to a mortgage of up to 80% of the plot and construction cost, although interest rates are lower with a greater deposit.
Where can I find more information about self and custom build?