Plans for 22 self-build houses on the edge of a settlement in Essex would accord with paragraph 50 of the national planning policy framework (NPPF) in meeting a need for people wishing to build their own homes, an inspector has ruled.

The council’s adopted local plan was silent on self-build housing. It argued that 38 custom and self-build dwellings had been built since 2012. The appellant responded that only one of these sites reflected the custom build philosophy. Given the government’s commitment to provide 100,000 such dwellings over the next ten years, the inspector agreed that the appeal proposal would meet a latent demand.

In her view, other factors also favoured the scheme. She noted that the council was unable to demonstrate an adequate supply of housing land, with a persistent under-delivery in four of the past five and a total under-supply of 324 dwellings. This justified a 20% buffer, she held. She also found that5 the delivery of housing on some sites was questionable, with some lacking even outline permission. In her opinion, the total supply was approximately 4.6 years and the shortfall should be given considerable weight.