Achieving one million additional homes by 2020?
24 January 2017 by Sharon Smith
The Housing White Paper was due to be published before the year end 2016. It is now expected to be published by the end of January, and where it is expected to introduce significant new measures to speed up the supply of new housing, including measures to build “ready to go homes”.
The Housing and Planning Bill has just received its second reading in the House of Lords, where many of the proposed measures will be dependent on the publication of further regulations.
These all form part of the Government’s planning reform proposals.
The Government intends that these will serve as a catalyst to achieve its target of one million additional homes by 2020. Measures are expected to focus on speeding up the planning system with the aim of delivering more housing.
The White Paper is also expected to identify some changes to the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF). The NPPF, first published in 2012, sets out the Government’s planning policies and the application of these. It is anticipated the planning reform proposals will address several planning policies drawing together a number of outstanding issues.
It is expected that the proposals will, amongst other measures, place substantial weight to the development of brownfield sites (previously developed land), higher density around commuter hubs, provision of starter homes, examining rules of basement development, careful consideration and support for sustainable small sites (less than 10) adjacent to settlement/built up area boundaries, amendment of national policy to ensure that action is taken where there is a significant shortfall between homes provided in local plans and those built.
The proposed measures, the Government expect, will result in achieving the target of one million additional homes by 2020.
In response to the anticipated White Paper the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) has published a 16 point action plan, in November 2016, setting out its consideration, it states, to help the Government achieve “ … its ambitious house building targets”.
The Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF), in a study published December 2016, Monitoring Poverty and Social Exclusion identified that failures that have occurred in the housing market have been a significant driver of poverty with 58,000 households accepted as homeless in 2015/2016. The report states that this figure represents almost a 50% increase on the previous assessment some 5 years ago.
Shelter have commented that the country is in the grip of a housing shortage where increased rents, poor conditions and increased homelessness are the outcome.
We must all be hopeful that the planning reform proposals do have the strength to ensure the delivery of additional homes to meet the Government’s target creating much needed homes and that the planning process can ensure a well-balanced and timely delivery.
For now we are obliged to wait and see.
There will be a further blog relating to this once the Housing White Paper is published.