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Planning changes will allow housing surge

Housing Secretary, Robert Jenrick, has set out proposals intended to bring Britain’s planning system into the 21st century and get Britain building.

As the budget set out, and similarly recent governments have pushed to address the nation’s housing crisis, planning rules have been touted as hamstringing the industry. Mr Jenrick’s announcement is expected to help councils take a more innovative approach to house building, especially on brownfield sites, and backed by a £400M fund.

April will see the government launch a register of brownfield sites which will map out unused land as part of plans to encourage councils to make the most of sites based around the high street, building upwards and above and around stations.

Developers will be able to demolish vacant commercial, industrial and residential buildings and replace them with well-designed homes without getting delayed in a lengthy planning process, under new plans being consulted on by the government, meaning that more homes will be able to be delivered more quickly.

All local authorities will also be required to have up-to-date Local Plans in place by December 2023, or see government intervention, so enough homes are built for their communities. While the government will also review how places assess how many homes are needed in their area and incentivise those that deliver on those numbers.

These changes come ahead of an ambitious planning white paper due to be released, which is set to radically reform the planning system – speeding up the process so homes can be built quicker where they need it most.

Good design will also be placed at the heart of the planning system, ensuring beautiful homes and tree-lined streets togetehr with a commitment to lower carbon emissions in all new homes.

Housing Secretary Rt Hon Robert Jenrick MP said: “I want everyone, no matter where they live, to have access to affordable, safe, quality housing and live in communities with a real sense of place – as part of our mission to level up, unite and unleash the potential of this country.

“We must think boldly and creatively about the planning system to make it fit for the future, and this is just the first step, so we can deliver the homes communities need and help more young people onto the ladder.”

The announcement follows last week’s budget announcements which will see some £12Bn invested in the creation of affordable housing, amd the creation of a new £10Bn Single Housing Infrastructure Fund.

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