UK GOVERNMENT WHITE PAPER – FEB 2017

9 MAIN POINTS TO NOTE

  1. DEVELOPERS FEEL THE FORCE FROM MINISTERS – Developers who have land which has been granted planning permission but remains undeveloped risk having that land seized by the government if they do not proceed with building new homes.
  2. LOCAL AUTHORITIES ALSO UNDER PRESSURE – It’s not just the developers under pressure. Any local authority seen to be preventing development will be targeted. From November 2018, if housing developed is less than 25% of the identified need (as per the ‘Local Plan’) then developers can be granted ‘automatic permission’. This will increase to 45% in 2019 & 65% in 2020.
  3. SUPPORT FOR MODULAR CONSTRUCTION – The Government has stated it will consider how modern modular construction can integrate within the current planning system. The Home’s and Community Agency (HCA) will play a large role in the implementation of this.
  4. PRS & BTR – Private Rental Sector aka Build to Rent receives a boost as the Government announced a range of measures to encourage this sector allowing local authorities to proactively plan for BTR schemes and make it easier for BTR developers to offer affordable private rental properties. The Government also want’s to consider the implementation of 3 year Tenancy plans for BTR schemes.
  5. BACKTRACK FOR STARTER HOME POLICY – The Government has reduced the percentage of starter homes that are required to be built by Developers from 20% to just 10%. These homes will only be made available to buyers with a mortgage and and a household income of less than £80,000 (London – £90,000). The target set of 200,000 new starter homes by 2020 has been abandoned and replaced with the target of simply 200,000 new homes.
  6. NO MORE LOW DENSITY – The Government has backed the development of High Density Developments in areas where there is a shortage of suitable land. In addition where there are good public transport links the Government is encouraging HDD, this could include building on car parks and adding floors to existing low density buildings.
  7. NO GREEN BELT REFORM – The Government affirmed it’s commitment to protecting Green Belt areas. They stated that only once ‘all other reasonable options’ had been explored could Green Belt be considered for ammendment.
  8. EMPHASIS ON BROWNFIELD – Local authorities must place ‘great weight’ on the development of Brownfield sites within their area and assist small and medium size developers. They announced that 10% of all development sites must be half hectare or less in size and if necessary larger sites could be divided to achieve this.
  9. FEE’S INCREASED – From July 2017 local authorities will be able to increase their planning fee’s by 20% if the extra revenue is invested in their own planning department. In addition the Government will consult on the introduction of appeal fees, which, would be refunded if the appeal is successful.

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