Support, Advice and Experience within the Property Market

Planning Reform to Overhaul Outdated Systems

From Robert Ulph on August 21, 2020

The Housing Secretary, Robert Jenrick, recently announced the launch of a Government consultation which aims to overhaul outdated planning systems and reform the way the country builds.

With NAEA Propertymark I will ensure that any comments are fed into the consultation, which is open until 29 October. This sets out proposals for measures to improve the effectiveness, efficiency, and modernisation of the planning system. The consultation also intends to bring a new focus to design and sustainability, and ensure more land is available for development where needed.

In addition, the Housing Secretary also confirmed a 30 per cent discount through the First Homes scheme which will provide new homes for local people, key workers, and first-time buyers. The discount will be locked into the home in perpetuity, ensuring future buyers can continue to benefit from it. There will also be much-needed homes being built quicker by ensuring local housing plans are developed and agreed in 30 months. Currently it is seven years. It will also see every area have a local plan in place – currently, only 50% of local areas have a plan to build more homes.

“As we face the economic effects of the pandemic, now is the time for decisive action and a clear plan for jobs and growth,” commented Jenrick. “Our reforms will create thousands of jobs, lessen the dominance of big builders in the system, providing a major boost for small building companies across the country.”

All new homes to be ‘zero carbon ready’, in order to achieve the Government’s commitment to net zero carbon emissions by 2050. The planning system is only one of the tools that are needed to use to mitigate and adapt to climate change. Last year the Government consulted on proposals to move towards a Future Homes Standard, which was the first step towards net zero homes. From 2025, new homes are expected to produce 75-80% lower CO2 emissions compared to current levels.

Valued green spaces will also be protected for future generations by allowing for more building on brownfield land and all new streets to be tree-lined.

“It’s positive to see more steps being taken to support the housing market during this time,” commented Mark Hayward, NAEA Propertymark Chief Executive. “It is particularly important that as we try to boost the economy, we build a greater supply of affordable houses that can rejuvenate areas across the country most affected by this crisis.”

“However, it is important that any changes to the planning process help to improve transport, infrastructure, and develop communities and places where people want to live. By doing this the Government will help to ease the pressure of the supply of homes to ensure that the property market drives forward the UK’s economic recovery.”
As always, if you have any questions on this or anything to contribute to the consultation, or have questions on the local property market, please do not hesitate to call me.