Autumn Statement 2014: Impact on Planning
George Osborne gave his Autumn Statement this week forecasting UK as the "fastest growing of any major advanced economy in the world" and confirmed that the Government was on track to to deliver 165,000 affordable homes before 2018.
Key planning policy decisions from the Statement include:
- Affordable housing – The government will extend affordable housing capital investment to 2018-19 and 2019-20, to ensure that 275,000 new affordable homes can be delivered over the next Parliament.
- Public sector land: the government will set targets for the release of public sector land between 2015 and 2020.
- Housing associations – the government will consult on ways to increase the borrowing capacity of housing associations in relation to the valuation of properties transferred from local authorities
- Estates regeneration – a £150 million fund to kick start the regeneration of social housing estates through repayable loans.
- Shared ownership – the government will work with housing associations, lenders and the regulator to identify and lift barriers to extending shared ownership. This will include the launch of a consultation on options for streamlining the process for selling-on shared ownership properties.
- Local authority housing – a review to consider the role local authorities can play in supporting overall housing supply within existing fiscal plans.
- Section 106 negotiations – The government will take steps to speed up section 106 negotiations, to reduce delays to the planning process.
- Speed of decisions – The government will keep the speed of major decisions under review, with minimum performance thresholds increasing to 50% of major decisions made on time as performance improves
- Small applications – The government will publish new data on local authorities’ performance in meeting their statutory duty to process smaller planning applications within 8 weeks.
- Small sites – The government will work with industry and local authorities to test whether more can be done to support the approval of small sites in the planning system.
- Compulsory Purchase reforms – the government will publish proposals for consultation at Budget 2015 to make processes clearer, faster and fairer, with the aim of bringing forward more brownfield land for development.
- National Transport Policy - The government plans to lay the National Networks National Policy Statement before Parliament in December 2014 for consideration and a formal vote.