Self-build for beginners

11 min read


Get the correct paperwork and insurances in place for your selfbuild to ensure your project runs smoothly and is covered for any possible eventuality

Be prepared by knowing about the different documents you need in place for your self-build.

You’ve discharged all of the pre-commencement conditions of your planning consent, your building regulation drawings have been approved and you are finally ready to start your build, but have you ensured you have all the necessary paperwork in place before you begin on site? From arranging site insurance, to completing aCommunity Infrastructure Levy exemption form, there are some key things every self-builder needs to check off their list before beginning making astart.


The Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) is acharge applied by around two-thirds of local authorities in England and Wales on new development, including new homes, to help fund local infrastructure projects such as roads, schools and healthcare. The CIL liability on the average-sized self-build measuring 247m² could be an eyewatering £23,465, but fortunately self-builders are exempt from CIL, as long as they comply with the rules. There is no appeals process for failing to comply with the regulations and many selfbuilders have had to pay charges or afine for non compliance, so read the small print to avoid avery expensive error.

To find out if your local authority charges CIL or is planning to, visit the planning pages on its website or phone to ask for details of its CIL schedule/draft schedule. The Community Infrastructure Levy cannot be charged retrospectively, so if it applies to your project you, or the agent who submitted the planning application on your behalf, will have been notified in writing at the time planning permission was granted.

You (or your agent with your approval) must complete:

●Assumption of Liability Form (CIL Form 2)

●ASelf-build Exemption Form Part 1 (Form 7)

●ACommencement Notice (CIL Form 6)

●Self-build Exemption Form Part 2 (CIL Form 7).

Failure to complete all of the forms correctly could mean full CIL liability is payable. Complete the first three steps before commencement of the development as defined by Section 56 of Part III of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990; the fourth step must be undertaken after completion of the build.

Applicants claiming the exemption must sign alegal declaration that the project is aself-build and provide evidence that this is the case, within six months of the completion date. If within three years the property is either sold or the whole property let out, the full Community Infrastructure Levy charge becomes payable. In this case, you must notify the charging authority in writing within 14 d