Development on brownfield sites will be made easier under planning reforms set out by Robert Jenrick MP, Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, today (March 12).
Councils will be encouraged to take a more innovative approach to home building – by ensuring redevelopment of high streets is housing-led, building upwards and above and around stations.
Next month the government will launch a register of brownfield sites which will map out unused land as part of plans to encourage councils to make the most of this land first – backed by £400 million to bring this mostly unused land back to use.
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.
The government will also review how places assess how many homes are needed in their area and incentivise those that deliver on those numbers.
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.
Good design and place-making will be at the heart of the new system, championing tree-lined streets, a “fast track for beauty” and a commitment to lower carbon emissions in all new homes – for a green revolution in housebuilding.
He 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.”
This follows a package of measures announced in yesterday’s Budget to help more people onto the housing ladder by building more affordable homes and speeding up the planning process to deliver the 300,000 homes a year the country needs.
A further £1 billion will be made available to help unlock almost 70,000 new homes and create a new £10 billion Single Housing Infrastructure Fund to give confidence to communities, local authorities and developers that the infrastructure they want will be delivered before the building starts.
This follows the announcement of £12 billion of investment to build more affordable homes – the biggest cash investment in affordable housing for a decade.