The Task Force offers direct consultancy services in different formats for local authorities, and private clients, who need detailed advice, such as site-specific or support with a particular initiative or issue.
These services will be tailored to the organisation’s needs and undertaken by one or more of the Task Force expert panel.
The Task Force also produces a series of technical Advanced Advice Notes which provide technical detail and examples on a variety of topics such as:
- Development models
- Engagement with community, landowners and builders.
- Call for sites/shortlisting/assessment of assets.
- Site feasibility work
- Viability & Valuation considerations
- Securing CSB with s106 and planning conditions
- Neighbourhood Planning
These are accessible as part of the bespoke consultancy service, and can be tailored to your needs to provide a drill-down examination of the topic. Rates are competitive, in line with the task force’s aim of growing custom and self build delivery, and take place virtually where practical.
To find out more the consultancy service and rates get in touch, and let us about your situation and needs.
Free support for local authorities
The Task Force is currently being sponsored by MHCLG to provide free of charge online workshops for local authorities in England, to support government’s commitment to custom and self build. The virtual workshops are suitable for authorities at any stage of progress with custom and self-build housing. Each session is tailored to the particular authority’s needs and should be attended by officers from housing and planning as well as elected members to ensure engagement across the organisation.
Types of direct support
Advice will be tailored to your organisations needs, with past projects including:
- Advising, preparing and implementing planning strategies, policies, masterplans and design codes
- Help with preparation of supplementary planning documents
- Feasibility work and indicative site layouts for pilot schemes of serviced plots
- Developing and implementing demand assessments to inform Strategic Housing Market Assessments or site/area-specific policies and proposals including the Three Dragons Demand Assessment Toolkit (see below)
- Application of Right to Build legislation locally
The Task Force can support Local Planning Authorities in evidence and support for local plan preparation, but does not provide adversarial support for planning appeals.
Three Dragons Demand Assessment Toolkit
Three Dragons is a planning and viability consultancy who worked with the Right to Build Task Force to develop a tool for assessing demand for custom and self build housing.
Used with other forms of evidence, including the self build registers, this tool supports local authorities and other stakeholders to establish a reliable picture of wider, and longer-term, demand. This is key for offering surety that there is a market for new projects and policies.
Testimonials from clients:
“Custom and self-build housing plays an important role in meeting the borough’s housing needs. The session helped us to get to grips with the different ways that custom and self-build plots could be delivered, and has helped to shape our new policy approaches.”
Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Planning, Infrastructure and Natural Environment Cllr Mark Ruffell, 2021
“Cornwall Council have called on the Task Force to advise on a number of different strategies as we seek to increase the number of self and custom built homes. Cornwall has one of the highest affordability gaps in the country and the market for large scale housing delivery partners tends not to be as strong or sustainable as in some other regions. We therefore recognise the important role that self and custom build can play in the delivery of our Local Plan. In an economically challenging rural environment where viability can be marginal for the more traditional delivery routes, the self and custom building model provides people with an attractive and more affordable route to home ownership.”
“The expertise and knowledge that this group has is unrivalled; they have consistently provided realistic and valued advice that is enabling us to develop our strategies. Without the Task Force, it would be more difficult to make progress and we hope that they can continue to provide their services for many years to come.”
Mark Ellis, Strategic Planning Manager, Cornwall Council, 2019
“We welcome the specialist technical support and guidance the Task Force is providing to the Council. This is giving excellent value for money to develop our understanding and build in-house capacity to help foster and promote custom and self-build in Mid Devon. This will support our emerging Local Plan policy, can be used to inform future planning guidance and a Housing Strategy review, and will also help us negotiate more effectively where custom and self-build housing is required in new development.”
“The Task Force has responded well to our bespoke requirements, through a package of deliverables including officer / Member training and public engagement, and a suite of technical notes. We are pleased that the Task Force has been able to take a flexible approach to refine and improve work strands where a need has been identified as the work has progressed.”
Tristan Peat, Forward Planning Team Leader, Mid Devon District Council, 2019
“On behalf of the Council a huge thank you for your time last week. Members of the Task Group present found it invaluable - this was communicated to me by the Chair of the Task Group Cllr Richard Blunt (Cabinet member for development). Your position and the way in which you described how your organisation was funded gave you a very credible and ‘independent’ platform. This was really effective as members have often been sceptical about external consultants giving them advice about their area.”
“The insights and background work you had undertaken around West Norfolk was particularly helpful, as was the way in which you drew on examples across the UK and overseas. Members felt as though you had raised many possibilities, without being directional.”
“The way in which the two sessions were delivered in a highly structured way helped the thought processes of those participating. I think you have helped us move this agenda on in a really important way just before our Local Plan review, and I look forward to working with you in the weeks ahead.
Duncan Hall, Housing Services Manager, Kings Lynn and West Norfolk, 2018
NNJPDU and our partners have significant housing growth ambitions across North Northamptonshire. We see considerable potential for Custom and Self Build to be part of the new housing mix on small and larger sites. We have received expert advice from the Right to Build Task Force which has been invaluable in determining the optimum size, location and approach to delivery of these homes, including a commitment by the promoters of the Tresham Garden Village to bring forward up to 20% of all the homes for Custom and Self Build. We look forward to continuing to benefit from the knowledge and specialist skills of the Task Force Experts as we advance our plans.
Andrew Longley, Head of the North Northants Joint Planning And Delivery Unit, 2019
“I am delighted to say that working with the Right to Build Task Force proved invaluable to our business. The insight and experience offered by Mario and his team of experts redefined our ‘enabling’ model, significantly improving the way we work with our clients in the emerging custom build arena.”
Mark Stevenson, Managing Director, Potton Kingspan, 2018
“You rarely come across individuals or a team of original thinkers not only skilled in their profession but imbued with what I call relentless enthusiasm. These are people with a real passion for their work and seek to push the boundaries to improve society. This is the Right to Build Task Force in a nutshell. I thank them for their practical support and "arm around the shoulder" guidance and look forward to working with them through to the successful conclusion of our Tamar Village project.”
William Holman, The North & Middle Pill Landowner Consortium, Saltash, Cornwall, 2018
“The Task Force gave us clear and helpful advice, drawing on the UK and international experience of its experts. As a result, our Board has agreed to target 15% Custom and Self Build housing, amounting to 165 plots”.
Richard Harrington, Chief Executive, Buckinghamshire Thames Valley Local Enterprise Partnership, 2017
“POS Enterprises operates two supported learning groups of local planning authority officers involved in local plan making. We invited the Task force to provide a speaker on self-build and custom build housing at one of our groups. Its members found the presentation very informative and greatly improved their awareness of the issues around achieving an increase in the supply of homes from these sources. In the light of this we asked the Task Force to present at the second group meeting, with was similarly valuable.”
Andrew Wright, Planning Officers Society, 2019
Our clients include:
- Buckinghamshire Advantage LEP
- Basingstoke Council
- Warrington Council
- Runnymede Council
- Longcross Garden Village
- Fareham Council
- Welbourne Garden Village
- Richmondshire council
- South Cambridge Council
- Cambridge City Council
- H2land Ltd
- Teignbridge Council
- GESP Partnership Councils
- East Hertfordshire Council
- Letchworth Garden City
- Central Bedfordshire Council
- Brighton & Hove Community Land Trust
- London Older Lesbian Cohousing
- Clachan Cohousing
- Still Green
- Plymouth Energy Community
- Compendium Living
- East Riding of Yorkshire Council
- Planning Officers Society London
- West Oxfordshire Council
- North Essex Garden communities group
- North Northamptonshire Council
- East Northamptonshire Council
- Wellingborough Council
- Corby Council
- Tresham Garden Village
- North and Middle Pill Landowner Consortium
- East Devon Council
- Mid Devon Council
- Cornwall Council
- Eco Bos Ltd
- Ashley Vale Action Group (AVAG)
- Ambos Ltd
- Alderley Edge Neighbourhood Planning Group
- Kent Cohousing
- Cheshire East Council
- Breckland Council
- Eden Council
- Kings Lynn & West Norfolk Councils
- Mid Sussex Council
- Bedford Borough Council
- Alltimes Homes
- Planning Officers Society Leeds
- Barton Willmore
- Landform Estates
- Folkestone & Hythe Council
- Carlisle City Council
- Westleton Cohousing CIC
- Kirklees Council
- South Gloucestershire Council
- Lands Improvement
- Headland Developments