Plan to turbo charge housing on brownfield land

Building homes on brownfield land will be turbocharged under a major shake-up to planning rules to boost house building while protecting the Green Belt.

As part of its long-term plan for housing, the Government announced today that planners in England’s 20 largest cities and towns will be told to adopt an overarching presumption in favour of house building on brownfield land.

This rule will apply if house building drops below expected levels as is presently proving the case. London councils will particularly come into the spotlight.

The Government is also helping developers overcome bureaucracy by slashing red tape that stops derelict sites and unused buildings being turned into new homes.

Legislation laid in Parliament today will extend current Permitted Development Rights, so that commercial buildings of any size will have the freedom to be converted into new homes – this means shops, offices, and other buildings all quickly repurposed, resulting in thousands of quality new homes by 2030.

The move has been welcomed by major developers.

David Thomas, chief executive of Barratt, said: “Industry and local and national government need to work together to find ways of delivering more new homes more quickly, including on previously developed land, and this is a positive step.”

Simon Carter, chief executive at British Land, said “Today’s announcement is another important step towards unlocking the potential of brownfield urban regeneration.

“British Land has consistently advocated for practical, deliverable planning reform which prioritises brownfield development, accelerates the pace of housing delivery and helps to secure long-term sustainable growth, by intensifying development in urban areas where it is needed most.”

A consultation on these proposals will launch today and run until Tuesday 26 March. The Government said it would look to implement the proposed changes to national planning policy as soon as possible.



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