Glasgow SNP launch innovative policy to ease city’s housing problems

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By a Newsnet reporter

Glasgow’s SNP Council Group is considering proposals for housing in the city after the election in May.  One area of policy the group say has not been fully developed by the Council in the city is that of self-build.  Self-build is where future owners take a direct role in the development of their future property – this can range from designing and building to commissioning construction of the home.

While self-build is a small part of the overall housing sector in this country it is more popular in other parts of Europe.  Scotland itself is well placed as a popular part of the UK for self-build.  Glasgow currently does not have a policy in support of self-build.

However the Highland Housing Alliance has a self-build policy, and has made building plots available in Invergordon and Golspie.  In Bristol, over 41 homes have been self-built or self-finished under the auspices of the Ashley Vale Action Group, and a community of over one hundred residents is thriving.  Outside the UK, there is a greater emphasis on self-build as a means of supplying low cost housing.  In the Netherlands almost one in three new homes is constructed as part of a self-build scheme.

Commenting on the work to date, Councillor Thoms said: “As part of our plans for the 2012 election we are considering how best to stimulate and sustain Glasgow’s housing sector in the coming years.  One area we are looking at is developing a policy on self build for the city.  Self build projects are a very small part of the overall housing picture, but if applied carefully, could provide opportunities for local employment while offering a chance those who wish to build their own home.

“Glasgow has significant areas where land could be set aside for self-build, whether as pure self-build, with serviced plots or as part of wider developments.

“Examples from areas as diverse as Swindon, Bristol, The Netherlands and the Highlands of Scotland demonstrate that it can be a viable option.

“Self-build rates are significantly higher in many other European countries, so by providing some opportunity within Glasgow we can test the level of demand here in Scotland’s largest city.

“We in the SNP are prepared to think innovatively about how Glasgow’s housing sector can be nurtured over the next few years – our proposal will enhance the range of options both for home buyers and builders and provide employment opportunities in the construction sector.”