13 May New Housing and Planning Act benefits owners of brownfield land and self-builders

The new Housing and Planning Act [which received Royal Assent on 12 May] introduces a range of measures to boost house building and makes a number of changes to the planning system.

Judith Norris at The Rural Planning Practice comments on the new measures: “Any changes introduced to speed up the planning process are to be welcomed. Some of these measures are particularly good news for owners of brownfield land and also self-builders.

“Development of brownfield land is seen as desirable and the Act brings in new rules to unlock brownfield land to speed up the delivery of new homes. In two months time councils will be required to set up and publish local registers of brownfield land, highlighting derelict and underused land that can be used for new homes. This will provide house builders with publicly-available information and is hoping to speed up construction.

“The Act also supports sites for self-builders and sets out to double the number of custom and self-build homes by 20,000 by 2020. Councils will be required to establish the demand for self-build plots and to grant planning permission for suitable sites to meet the demand for self-build housing in their area.

“Other measures include permission-in-principle for housing-led development. Permission-in-principle may now be granted automatically, subject to the adoption of key qualifying documents, and it can also be granted via the brownfield register. Starter homes are also high on the agenda, but not for rural exception sites.

“Most of the key provisions of the Act will not take immediate effect and we wait for the finer details to emerge.”