Housing minister announces new powers

Communities are to get new powers to build affordable housing in their areas without planning permission.

Housing minister announces new powers

Housing Minister Grant Shapps MP told the Community Land Trusts that developments proposed by new Local Housing Trusts will need only to meet basic standards if they are backed by 90% of local people.

The plans will be included in the Decentralisation and Localism Bill to be introduced this Autumn.

The Government believes they will mainly be set up by people in rural areas concerned that a lack of housing threatens local schools, shops and other facilities.

Profits from new developments are to be reinvested in the community.

Shapps, said: “In opposition I said that if we won the election we would start a revolution – where communities would get involved in providing homes for themselves. Today it’s time to start that revolution.

“For the first time it will be communities, not central Government, who decide what happens in their local area.

“Essentially I want communities to have the freedom to decide on the type and quantity of housing without external restrictions imposed by a centralised planning system. Villages may also want to build some housing to sell, sheltered housing for the elderly, or even set aside plots for people to build their own homes. It will be up to the Local Housing Trust. They will be able to make a judgment about how best to invest in their community and meet its needs.”

About Fiona Russell-Horne

Group Managing Editor across the BMJ portfolio.

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