Barnsley self-build business leads the way in UK

A Barnsley business is leading the way in supporting people to build their own homes with one of the most successful self-build projects in the country.

Site 4 Self Build has gained planning approval for 23 homes, where people will effectively be building their own three and four bedroom properties.

The self-builders will be fully supported through the company’s specialist project management service.

Within a few weeks of launch, all properties have been reserved – 14 going to first time buyers – and construction is due to start on the 0.8 hectare site at Gawber in Barnsley next month.

The company is now inviting interest in its next two projects in the borough, at Thurnscoe and Royston.

Paul Wright, who set up Site 4 Self Build last year, said:

“The self-build market is still comparatively small in the UK but it is growing.

“Ours is one of only a few pioneering projects and we know of no other scheme that has taken off quite so quickly.”

The company’s self-build project is one of a small number of sites in the UK which has secured Government support to help multi-plot, self-build projects get off the ground.

Paul, who has years of experience in property consultancy in the UK and Europe, was supported to establish Site 4 Self Build through the Genesis programme, run by Barnsley Business and Innovation Centre (BBIC) and funded by Enterprising Barnsley.

The programme supports innovative businesses in the first year or two of life, offering intensive business coaching support, technical assistance and business development workshops.

He added:  

“The business support I’ve received through Genesis during my first year has been invaluable.

“The company has got off to an excellent start and I now expect to grow very quickly as what I’m doing is unique in the area.”

Once construction commences in Gawber, Paul will employ four people in project management and support roles.

Site 4 Self Build aims to help people build their own semi-detached, or detached house, supporting them with all aspects of finance, design and construction.

All the homes are based on an initial blueprint, but owners can choose different design options to meet their specific lifestyle needs.

Paul said:

“Self-build offers a flexible, value-for-money solution to buyers who may find they cannot afford to buy a new home at current market prices.

Self-build means someone can build a property with a market value of £140,000 for an investment of about £90,000.

More and more lenders are also now supporting self-build applicants, further helping to make this an option for people. Self-build is no longer just for those with grand designs and massive budgets”.

Newlyweds, Gemma and James Shaw, who have signed up to build their own home with Site 4 Self Build said:

“Once Paul talked us though the figures and the specialist support process offered, we jumped at the chance of getting a home this way.

“We certainly couldn’t afford to buy a property to the standard of the one we are having built.”

Currently around 12,000 new homes a year are self-built in the UK. But, the self-builder’s share of the market – less than one in ten of all new homes – is still very small compared to other countries such a France and Germany. The Government wants to see the industry double in size over the next few years. It has set up a £30 million fund, through the Homes and Communities Agency, to support self-build initiatives for affordable homes.

The Enterprising Barnsley programme is supported financially by the European Union.

The project has attracted £2,259,511 investment into Barnsley from the European Regional Development Fund as part of Europe’s support for the region’s economic development, through the Yorkshire and Humber ERDF Programme.

Site 4 Self Build’s Paul Wright


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