Pyrite Panel Publishes Report

The Pyrite Panel makes 24 recommendations to the Irish Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government, Mr. Phil Hogan T.D.

The Pyrite Report is available here:

A dedicated email, where people can email queries is available here:-  , 
Information helpline 1890 800 800

Surveyor Link Limited (who have surveyor coverage throughout Ireland) can assist in monitoring or testing for Pyrite. If you require a Pyrite Condition Survey or Pyrite Re-mediation Auditing please contact




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New Update: UK’s first large scale #self

New Update: UK’s first large scale #self-build communities to become a reality The UK’s Housing Minister, Grant Shapps, has announced that plans for the nation’s first ever dedicated large- scale self-building community has been given the go-ahead. The governments wider efforts to help double the size of the self-build sector have brought about the announcement of the £30 million Custom Build Investment Fund, previously known as the Revolving Fund, and also reservation of seven large sites specifically for self-builders. The dedicated land and Custom Build Investment Fund will offer suitable support for self-build groups. The fund will offer short-term loans to community groups, builders and other small organisations looking to start self-build projects. The efforts to double the size of the self-build sector will be backed by many experts including Kevin McCloud, the Grand Designs presenter, who has agreed to be the industry’s champion. The dedicated land, as announced by the Minister, includes seven sites across the UK being set aside, these sites, together with many more opportunities being identified by local authorities, will create hundreds of new self-build opportunities across the country. The first site to be made available, on surplus public sector land in Treveson Park, Pool, Cornwall, will offer 60 homes, making it the nation’s first ever large-scale self-build community. These sites should collectively deliver at least 100 new self-build homes. The Housing Minister also confirmed that six other sites are being made available. They are: Kingsweir and Torpoint, Bristol Spencers Park, Hemel Hempstead Pleasley Colliery, Bolsover Upper Tuesley Milford, Surrey Wilson Road, Hanford, Stoke-on-Trent; and Chase Avenue, Walton Park, Milton Keynes. Grant Shapps also praised the work of councils including Cherwell District Council, who are looking to give as many local people as possible the opportunity to build their own homes, including on dedicated sites. In addition the Minister also asked the Homes and Communities Agency to continue identifying sites to be dedicated to group self-build projects. This self-build development project follows a recent mission to Almere in the Netherlands where the Minister visited the largest low-cost self-build project. The difference which could be made when a council gives a help to local aspiring self-builders was noted. Cherwell District Council in Oxfordshire are following the efforts made in Almere offering specific sites to local people looking to build their own home. The Minister has praised the council for their efforts, and is therefore urging councils across the UK to follow their example. Financial support to give self-builders a stable start In order to increase self-build developments across the UK there is the thought of mortgages which comes to mind, recent findings by Datamonitor sheds some positive light on this topic. Mortgages for self-builders should also increase, according to Datamonitor; they have predicted that the numbers of mortgages available for self-build projects will increase by 141% over the coming years. The Minister wrote to major lenders urging them to consider how they can make the most of the business opportunity that a growing self-build sector can offer. However, mortgages aside, Grant Shapps has published details of a new £30 million investment fund to offer people the money they need to lay the foundations for their self-build projects. Offering short-term loans to community groups, builders and other small organisations, this new fund will be a positive start to establishing projects. Covering up to 75% of a projects land and early construction costs, the funding will be available to organisations planning to build five or more homes at a total cost of up to £3million. In his letter to lenders, Grant Shapps highlighting a new ‘toolkit’ from the Building Societies Association, which provides information and advice to lenders who are looking to expand into this growing market. Housing Minister Grant Shapps said: “We are witnessing a self-build surge in this country, with more people than ever looking to construct their own home. As I saw for myself in Almere, the self-build capital of Europe, this shouldn’t be a niche interest for the select few – anyone with a dream to build should be able to do so.” He went onto say: “So I’m delighted to be able to announce the first seven sites with plots available exclusively for self-builders, as well as £30 million to offer short-term loans to help communities get their projects off the ground.” “This first-ever package of self-build support will help to achieve our goal to double the size of the industry over the next few years, but I want us to go further still. The new national planning rules require councils to consider the needs of self-builders in their area, and I would urge authorities across the country to look to Cherwell and the innovative work there as an exciting example of how this can be achieved.” Chairman of the National Self Build Association (NaSBA), Ted Stevens said: “This fund is very welcome. It should help small builders and developers who are active in the custom build sector to get projects away that have been ‘mothballed’ because of the difficulties they often face getting finance from the banks. And it should also be great news for groups of people who want to tackle a self-build project collectively. They should be able to use the fund to buy a larger site and split it up into much more cost effective individual plots. We know that one in four would-be self-builders are attracted to the idea of building together so it should be of real help to them.” He continued: “The announcement that more public land is to be set aside for self-builders is fantastic news – finding a plot is the biggest challenge for most would-be self-builders. I’m confident this will be warmly welcomed by the huge numbers of people keen to build a custom build home.” This new determination to establish a stronger self-build sector within the UK has received approval from many, Kevin McCloud said: “Across the UK there are scores of communities keen to work alongside each other to build their homes collectively. By pooling their talents on group self-build projects, they can construct great custom-designed homes at a fraction of the normal cost.” The large-scale self-build projects can be a reality with the measures put in place by the government the £30 million fund will be available over the next three years (2012 to 2015). Details of the funding being announced today, and the land being made available, can be found at: The new industry-sponsored self-build online resource can be found at: Separate arrangements for London will be announced shortly by the Greater London Authority. Further details on London can be obtained from the Greater London Authority by emailing References: Continue Reading