Housing Growth

Housing Growth

Pre application discussion guidance

New guidance advocating closer and earlier working between developers and local authorities during pre application discussions has been published by the British Property Federation, the Local Government Association and the Home Builders Federation. The report, titled ‘Planning Positively through Partnership’ includes several case studies illustrating how closer working between developers, local authorities and communities can be effective.Read more

Pickles on local plans

During a session of the Communities and Local Government select committee the Communities Secretary Eric Pickles said that local plans with realistic housing targets were more likely to be signed off, and that he did not anticipate many of the plans currently submitted being rejected.  He also referred to the increased use of ‘landbanks’ and to the recent report by Savills suggesting that landbanks were being used at a faster rate than at any time since 2007.Read more

Half of councils with green belt land preparing to develop it

Research carried out by the National Trust has shown that half of the councils in England which have green belt land are preparing to allocate some of it for development while brownfield sites remain undeveloped. This follows evidence from CPRE that the number of houses planned for green belt sites has doubled since last year to 150,000. While consulting in the NPPF in 2011, ministers and the Prime Minister stated that they were committed to protecting the green belt. Read more

Wolfson Economics Prize 2014 – Garden Cities

The second Wolfson Economics Prize will be awarded to the entrant who offers the best answer to the question ‘How would you deliver a new Garden City which is visionary, economically viable, and popular?’  The deadline for submissions is 3 March 2014.

This follows much recent comment in the national press, including a piece on the Telegraph on our Annual Conference, where we had Miles Gibson, the PM’s then-Housing Advisor and now Wolfson Prize Director, on the case for further Garden Cities to help address the need for housing. Read more

Support for self build housing

Communities Secretary Eric Pickles has promised to help turn self build housing into a mainstream option rather than a minority interest. He will introduce measures to support self build housing including asking councils to assess the demand; undertake a review of Homes and Communities Agency land to identify land suitable for small scale projects; and publicise land to would be self builders. There will also be a Council Tax discount for self built family annexes and exemption from “unreasonable” section 106 charges and the Community Infrastructure levy. Read more

Housing Standards Review Consultation

The Government has commenced a consultation on its proposal to introduce national standards for new housing following the report in 2012 of the group led by Sir John Harman. The Government is considering either issuing a new set of standards to replace the various existing standards for energy, accessibility, security, water and space set by local government and central government agencies, or fully integrating such standards into the Building Regulations. The consultation is open until 22nd October.

Read more here

Green Belts under threat

The Campaign for the Protection of Rural England (CPRE) has published figures which show that 150,000 new houses, and 1,000 hectares of mines, offices and warehousing are currently planned for Green Belt sites. CPRE questions whether the Government’s pledge to prevent building in the Green Belt other than in exceptional circumstances is being implemented effectively.

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Essex Green Belt Housing Stopped By Pickles

Eric Pickles has overturned a decision of the Planning Inspectorate to grant consent for 165 new homes on Green Belt land near Thundersley in Essex. He acknowledged that there was ‘a severe lack of forward  housing land supply’  but considered that the development would have caused a ‘considerable level of harm to the character, openness and appearance’ of the Green Belt land.

Read more here