A housing market renewal pathfinder in the north east is conducting a feasibility study with an architectural design company into plans to allow its residents to build their own homes, delegates at a conference heard this week.

Bridging Newcastle Gateshead is deciding if it would be viable to get future residents of neighbourhoods to design their own homes and communities, according to architectural design company Slider Studio.

Michael Kohn from Slider Studio told a sustainable communities conference in London: “We’ve been working with Bridging Newcastle Gateshead to look at land they had set aside for self-build.”

Kohn said his firm had designed software that allowed individuals to “get a handle on designing and planning a house². He said: ³We¹ve done so much in our software to show how it can all work. We need to have a live project for real. We are looking for enabling developers.”

The software would provide “a rulebook”, said Kohn, giving residents instructions on designs, a contract describing the quality and timeframe of building and how to hire a builder.