Benn complains to Shapps on self-build claims
Shadow Communities Secretary Hilary Benn has complained to the Housing Minister about his use of statistics on the cost of building a home.
Grant Shapps this morning launched a push by the Government to encourage people to build their own homes. In an article for PoliticsHome, he wrote that he was "determined that we can bring this option to the masses", adding: "The average cost of a home is now over £232,000 and a self-builder can put up a three to four bedroom home for around £150,000."
But Mr Benn said the Housing Minister had not taken account of the cost of land when estimating the cost of a self-build home. In a letter to Mr Shapps, seen by PoliticsHome, he pointed to figures on the Government's own self-build website which showed that a three or four bedroom house with land would cost £281,117.
Mr Benn wrote: "I suspect I may have found the source of your figures. The site does show that the cost of building a 3-4 bedroom house is on average £154,867, but that is minus the land. Of course that would only be relevant to someone that owned 1/1th of a hectare of land on which to build."
He added: "I, like you, am enthusiastic about self-build housing. However, I do think it important to give accurate figures to potential homebuilders. I hope you will quickly put right what I have no doubt was simply an error."