TWO plots at a council housing development have been set aside for first-time buyers to build their own homes - as part of the first scheme of its kind in the country.

City of York Council is redeveloping Lowfield Green - with the site set to feature 140 new houses, 19 homes to be built by the city's first housing cooperative and six self-build plots.

The plots will face on to the village green area at the heart of the development - and two of the six have been reserved for first-time buyers, with bids in excess of £85,000 invited.

It is the first time a council-led development has included land specifically for first-time buyers to build their own homes.

But the council has said if no suitable bids for the plots are received by the November 29 deadline, the sites may be offered to other applicants.

Outline planning permission has already been secured so construction work can begin as soon as the detailed plans for each house are approved.

All the plots are big enough for detached homes with three to five bedrooms and a garage if needed.

They also have south-facing back gardens.

People are invited to place bids of £95,000 or over for the other four self-build plots of land.

Cllr Denise Craghill, executive member for housing, said: “Supporting first-time buyers to secure a plot and build a home that they can afford is a first in the UK.

"We’re proud to be offering this addition to our affordable home options.

“By implementing our low-energy recommendations from the design code, these self-build homes will be affordable to run in the long-term.

"They will also align with our Passivhaus [ultra low energy building] ambitions for the homes we plan to build as part of our Housing Delivery Programme.”

Tom Connor, from self-build developer Custom Build Homes, said: “It is incredibly refreshing to work with a council which is so proactive in their supply of serviced plots for custom-build in their area."

Bidding for all self-build plots is open now and 40 per cent of homes at Lowfield Green are due to be affordable.