The government published the Housing and Planning Bill on 13 October 2015 in a move to fulfil its election commitments to encourage the construction of new homes to meet the widely publicised housing deficit. The publication of the Bill arrives in the same week that the government announced an extension to the Right to Buy. This will see more housing association tenants given the opportunity to own their own home as well as the publication of plans to extend permitted development rights allowing the residential conversion of office buildings and buildings used for light industrial purposes and as laundrettes.
The draft Housing & Planning Bill contains a number of new measures which include:
- New affordable starter homes – a new legal duty will be placed on councils to guarantee the provision of 200,000 Starter Homes on all reasonably sized new development sites; these will be offered to first-time buyers at a 20% discount on market prices
- Local plans – providing the government with targeted powers to ensure that all councils get Local Plans in place by 2017, so they can help provide the homes their communities need
- Pay to stay – ensuring that those tenants on higher incomes who are living in social housing have a rent that reflects their ability to pay, while those who genuinely need support continue to receive it
- Automatic planning permission in principle (PiPs) on brownfield sites – to bring forward more land to build new homes quicker, while protecting the green belt
- Planning reforms to support small builders – placing a new duty on councils to help allocate land so 20,000 custom and self-built homes a year can be built by 2020
The draft Bill will proceed to its second reading and is expected to come into force in spring/summer 2016 with a raft of secondary legislation containing much of the detail and related changes to the planning framework following.
Much of the detail has yet to be decided but there is no doubt that the Bill is likely to have a significant impact on those with an interest in the supply of new homes.
For more information about the new Housing and Planning Bill or to find out more about how the development land and housebuilding team can help you please email William Nassau-Lake on [email protected] or Derek Ching on [email protected] or 0118 952 7246.
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