Prime Minister Boris Johnson and the UK government has announced today the ‘most radical reforms to our planning system since the Second World War’ and they’re set to make it easier to build better homes in places where people want to live.
These new regulations are designed to create new homes from the “regeneration of vacant and redundant buildings” and “give greater freedom for buildings and land in town centres to change use without planning permission”.
Under the new rules, existing commercial properties can be converted into residential housing more easily and it’s a move that’s looking to “kick start the construction industry and speed up rebuilding”.
These plans were announced live this afternoon by Prime Minister Boris Johnson and are expected to come into effect via changes in law this September.
The PM also outlined plans for the Affordable Housing Scheme that’s set to deliver thousands of homes in England, and crucially, in Greater Manchester and the North West.
What has been announced?
Confirmed by the PM this afternoon and via the official gov.uk website, a package of measures to support home building across England have been announced and these include:
- A £12bn affordable homes programme that will “support up to 180,000 new affordable homes for ownership and rent over the next eight years”.
- A 1,500 unit pilot of ‘First Homes’ (part of the Affordable Housing Scheme) – houses that will be sold to first time buyers at a 30% discount. These will remain in perpetuity and keep them affordable for generations of families to own.
- Funds from the £400m Brownfield Land Fund have been allocated to the West Midlands, Greater Manchester, West Yorkshire, Liverpool City Region, Sheffield City Region, and North of Tyne and Tees Valley to support around 24,000 homes.
- The Home Builders Fund – to help smaller developers access finance for new housing developments – will receive additional £450m boost and this is expected to support delivery of around 7,200 new homes.
The Prime Minister also announced that work will begin to look at how land owned by the government can be managed more effectively.
Ahead of the Spending Review, a “new, ambitious cross-government strategy” will look at how public sector land can be managed and released, so it can “be put to better use”. This intends to include home building, improving the environment, contributing to net zero goals and “injecting growth opportunities into communities across the country”.
The government will launch a Planning Policy Paper next month, which will set out its plan for a “comprehensive reform of England’s seven-decade old planning system” as an aim of introducing a new approach that works better for the modern economy and society post-COVID.
For more information on the above plans, visit the gov.uk website.