Will Government Building Strategy Help to Deal With UK’s Housing Shortage?
The government has committed to helping local authorities meet their housing needs as part of a major scheme to improve the nation’s property market. The new plans are intended to increase the number of affordable homes.
Government White Paper
The government explained that its new White Paper aims to cut the number of regulations local authorities have to deal with when they want to become involved in the building of new property developments. The paper also focuses on ways to ensure the housing market becomes more diverse by using a number of new programmes, including the Accelerated Construction Programme, which focuses on land owned by the public sector.
The main talking point of the White Paper for many housing industry experts is that it aims to speed up the building of large-scale housing developments and reduce bureaucratic hold-ups.
The paper, published in February 2017, claims that local authorities do not plan sufficiently for the homes they need, leading to a shortage of properties. The paper aims to address this issue and sets out plans to intervene more swiftly if local authorities fail to keep their plans up to date. Local authorities will also be given more say over whether or not to dispose of land they have already granted planning permission for. There is also expected to be an increased demand for firms such as those offering a land remediation service and similar services.
Increase in Planning Fees
From July 2017, authorities will be able to raise planning fees by up to 20%, providing they have committed to using any additional income received within planning departments. Authorities will also have the option of further increasing fees if they are delivering homes that local communities need. Planning departments will be kept under review by the government to make sure they remain financially stable and that they attract and retain suitably skilled professionals. Businesses providing services such as land remediation services will also likely experience increased demand.
A brand new Housing Infrastructure Fund will be set up to target the areas with the greatest need for housing, with funds awarded to infrastructure projects – including utilities and transport projects – that aim to make areas suitable for new housing developments. There will also be funding for local authorities that have the highest levels of housing demand.