Build it yourself!
Self-build plots on Long Four Acres, Bracon Ash
When Karen and Kevin Keable tried to build their own house on land at the rear of their country home in Bracon Ash, near Mulbarton, they got a bit of a surprise. Yes, said Lanpro, their planning consultants, you can build a new home – just as long as you build 14 more.
It wasn’t likely that the couple, who live in Bracon Lodge, would get planning permission to build just one new home on the five acre site. But planners agreed to 15 self-build plots which was rather more than the couple expected. “Once we realised what was possible, we became more excited about the fact that we would be enabling other selfbuilders and could build a small community, which is already showing signs of developing.”
So the couple decided to go ahead with the project for their own self-build as well as creating 14 other opportunities for people to build their own house too.
Two years on, Long Four Acres has only seven plots left for sale, priced from £255,000 and the Keables are excited at getting closer to starting their own house build. “Unlike usual developers, we have a vested interest in making this work because we want to live there ourselves, we want it to be beautiful,” said Mrs Keable, 52, an artist.
“We always wanted to build our own home but the problem was finding somewhere as lovely to live as we do already,” said Mr Keable, 55, who worked in the oil business but is now co-owner of Long Four Acres Limited, the company they set up to create this development.
The design of Long Four Acres Avenue is green, with lots of hedgerows and trees and wide spaces between the houses. There will be no parking allowed on the avenue, wall mounted meter locations, discreet placement of bins and satellite dishes – all to ensure Long Four Acres is a beautiful scheme reflecting its stunning location.
All of the plots will have services laid to their boundary, roads and infrastructure in place ready for home builders to start work in January 2019. The idea is that you pick your plot – which are all at least ¼ acre – and start to work on the design of your dream home. Will it be eco-friendly, traditional, contemporary? The choice is yours.
Building your own house is not only about designing your dream home, there’s a large amount of money to be saved and the house will be much higher quality than other new houses out there. There’s no VAT on building materials, no CIL tax and the house should be worth up to 30% more than you invested when complete. Some early adopters have already submitted their plans and the Keable’s plans are already passed; their house is heavily influenced by the Georgian period in design yet will be built to Fabric First standards, which means the house will be very thermally efficient with low running costs.
The Keables have also amassed a support team of nationally acclaimed architects, homebuilders, suppliers and interior designers to help purchasers create the home they want. However, purchasers do not have to work alongside the recommended support team, they can appoint their own design team and create their own plans which will need to be submitted for full detailed planning approval by South Norfolk Council.
ABOVE:Karen and Kevin Keable