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The Autumn Statement – Weekly Update

George Osborne unveiled a £7bn war chest to help hundreds of thousands on to the housing ladder is his latest step in what has become the biggest government effort to promote home ownership since Margaret Thatcher’s Right To Buy in the 1980s.  I have written on this topic before and do not want to dwell on the fact.

Another key point made by The Chancellor on Wednesday was that the Government will consult on reforms of bonuses to further “sharpen the incentives for communities”.  Central Government cash incentives are given to councils in order to approve new housing developments to increase the national and regional housing supply figures.  It has emerged that such payments have boosted housebuilding in the face of locals’ objections.

The Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) found this week that a small, but growing number of developments are being approved despite local opposition because of the bonuses.  The main point from the CPRE’s research is that the rise in approvals was noticeable on green field sites.  It has been the case that councillors have refused to allow new development, but are later overruled by the planning inspector.  Since the bonus was introduced in 2011, some 43% of appeals that cited the bonus have been approved.

It is clear that there needs to be pressure applied on individual planning authorities from applicants, developers and central Government to supply more land for development.  The bonus helps incentivize the local planning authorities into approving more development, but there are still a number of authorities in the country that do not have a rigorous five year housing supply.  The five year supplies are a requirement in the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) which governs all planning and development in the country.

With all the incentives and pressure to deliver housing for all, you can be sure that further land will be sought over the next few years and that promotion of your land could fast track allocations and thus development.  Woolley is actively promoting a large number of sites across the country and look forward to the future.

Author: Woolley
Published on: Monday, November 30th, 2015
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