In last week's budget, Chancellor George Osborne stated that the English planning laws have made it impossible to build enough houses, and announced the introduction of measures to address this.
The government's latest move also extends existing 'permitted development rights', which will take the drive to increase housing to another level.
CEO of property developer Conroy Brook, Richard Conroy, commented on the announcement: "We are pleased to hear the government’s announcement regarding brownfield land, as this will make the process of bringing these often difficult sites forward much easier.”
According to the Federation of Master Builders (FMB) the Government has taken a major step towards solving the country’s housing crisis and improving productivity, with bold new changes to support house builders.
Responding to planning reforms announced as part of the Government’s Productivity Plan, Brian Berry, FMB Chief Executive, said: “For some time, the whole construction industry has been challenging the Government to solve the housing crisis at its root cause: supply. Ministers’ renewed focus on supply will in turn improve affordability, which is another top priority for the current Government.”
The main changes to planning law will include:
- A package to support small and medium-sized housebuilders, including new sanctions for local authorities not processing smaller planning applications on time, with earlier fee refunds.
- A new “zonal” system, as employed in many other countries, which will give automatic planning permission on all suitable brownfield sites, removing unnecessary delays to redevelopment.
- Power for the government to intervene and have local plans drafted setting out how housing needs will be met when local authorities fail to produce them, and penalties for those that make 50% or fewer planning decisions on time.
- Stronger compulsory purchase powers to bring forward more brownfield land and devolution of planning powers, including powers over land, to the mayors of London and Manchester.
- The right for major infrastructure projects that include elements of housing development to be fast-tracked through the Nationally Significant Infrastructure regime – meaning the project does not need to go through full democratic consultation.
Source: The Guardian and Politics Home