An overhaul of the planning system?

On Monday 5 March, Theresa May outlined plans to "rewrite" the rules on planning to help developers and local authorities build more affordable homes.

For decades, the UK has not had enough homes. Demand far exceeds supply resulting in inflated prices and increasing rents. Yesterday's announcement is the first major overhaul of the National Planning Framework in six years and aims to ensure more of the "right homes" are built in the "right areas". The changes will release more land for development and penalise councils who miss their planning targets.

Throughout her address to a national planning conference in London, Mrs May criticised the current system saying there is a "perverse" financial incentive for developers to sit on land once planning permission has been approved, rather than to build on it. The current system creates a market where "lower supply equals higher prices" she said, and consequently, developers aren't encouraged to build the homes the country needs. 

Pending consultation, up to 80 proposals are to be implemented to change the system. Some of the key measures include:

  • 10% of homes on major sites to be available for affordable homes
  • Councils to possibly revoke permissions if building hasn’t started within 2 years
  • New rules to determine how many homes councils must build, taking into account house prices, wages and worker numbers, with higher targets being set for areas where house prices exceed earnings
  • Allowing councils to take a developers previous rate of build into account when deciding whether to grant planning permission

For more information on the proposed changes, contact the Michelmores Planning Team.