Measures proposed by government to create a more efficient planning process for housebuilding

A new approach to the planning of new homes is promising to cut down on the time it takes to get projects off the ground; ensure new homes are built where they’re most needed; and in the quantities they’re needed.

The proposed housebuilding measures, first discussed in the government’s housing white paper, aim to provide a realistic picture of how many homes each local area needs now and in future years. It will also mean more homes are built in areas where it is unaffordable, based on average earnings in each area.

Figures from the Department for Communities and Local Government estimate that councils across England spend £3 million in taxpayers’ money every year on employing consultants to work out how many new homes are needed in their area. It states that long legal disputes over these figures when preparing local plans can also lead to unnecessary delays and add to the costs.

The proposed new way of working is designed to help councils deliver affordable housing where it’s needed, faster. It will create a consistent approach to planning to enable more homes in the right places.

Speaking about the need for change, Communities Secretary Sajid Javid said: “As anyone who has tried to buy or rent a home recently would probably tell you, the housing market in this country is broken. The simple truth is that for far too long we haven’t built enough homes and we don’t build them quickly enough.

It’s time to fix that. This new approach will cut the unnecessarily complex and lengthy debates that can delay housebuilding. It will make sure we have a clear and realistic assessment of how many new homes are needed, and ensure local communities have a voice in deciding where they go.”

The proposed system wants to make it quicker for each local area to produce a realistic plan of its housing need and review it at least every 5 years. It will also make it easier for local people to engage with the plan-making process, ensuring homes are well designed to meet the needs of all the community, and important local environmental areas are protected.

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