Suffolk Village of the Year 2023

Update on McKenzie Place Development, January 2019

The housing scheme for land next to McKenzie Place includes 9 plots specifically designated for “self-build” houses. 5 of these plots are of moderate size and specifically intended to give opportunities for local people who want to be involved in the design and construction of their own home (at a reasonable cost). These plots will initially only be offered to local people connected with the Cockfield area and are likely to start being offered for sale in 2019. For health and safety reasons work on these individual house plots will not be possible until the first phase of the conventional housing is completed (probably in the first half of 2020). This delay should not, however, be a problem as it allows time for buyers to complete the legal formalities, obtain detailed planning permission and procure construction/materials.
The other 4 plots are larger and will be offered on the open market later on, once the main housing scheme is nearing completion.

Purchasers of the 5 plots will be expected to live in the homes they build for at least 5 years and there will be financial penalties if this is not achieved.

Self and Custom build does not necessarily mean the owners are physically involved in the construction process (although they might be). A future householder might commission an architect to design a house to meet their specific requirements and, once planning permission is obtained, will take a hands on role in the construction and project management. Equally a future householder could chose and purchase a ready designed house from a supplier who obtains the necessary consents and builds the house with minimal involvement from the owner. There are, of course, a range of options and variations for greater or lesser involvement, they all fit the definition of Self and Custom build.

The county council cannot suggest or endorse specific products and service providers but there are a range of suppliers and specialists available. Further information can be obtained from National Custom and Self Build Association In addition to designers, builders and suppliers there are specialist financial products such as mortgages which release funds tied to stages of construction.

All enquiries relating to Self and Custom build should go to

District councils are obliged to maintain registers of people who are looking for the opportunity to self-build and anyone interested in this type of housing is encouraged to register with Babergh Mid-Suffolk District Councils.

It would also be helpful if they advised the Parish Council of their interest.

It is worth mentioning that the 12 affordable rented homes will be through gateway to homechoice.

Whereas the 6 shared ownership homes the applicants need to be go through the Homebuy agent. It might too early to take enquiries but if you wanted to include Orwell’s Home Ownership Officer Karen Suddes on 01473 228604 she could give some advice on this process.


Brian Prettyman
Senior Manager Corporate Property
Suffolk County Council



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