Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick has followed up this week’s budget announcement with a plan to bring forward a series of planning reforms, supported by £10.9 billion of funding, to help boost housebuilding in the UK. The plans are intended to help make sure the country is planning for the delivery of 300,000 new homes a year.

Key takeaways from the proposals, which can be found here, include:

  • Permitted Development rights will be extended this summer to allow ‘upwards extensions’ of up to two additional storeys on existing buildings. Consultation will also begin on new permitted development rights to allow the demolition of vacant commercial, industrial and residential blocks, to be replaced with new residential units
  • A review of the Planning Permission system will be undertaken to modernise the process, speed up approvals, provide support for local area planning and increase community engagement. Click here to see our blog on the Policy Exchange’s proposals for planning permission reform
  • Investment of £400m to help use brownfield land productively, and encourage greater building in brownfield areas
  • Greater support for community and self-build housing
  • A review of the government’s policy for building in areas at risk of flood
  • Proposals for helping first time buyers onto the housing ladder

Richard Payne, Director of Development said, “We welcome these ambitious plans to help unlock the building potential for new homes in the UK, particularly the plans to modernise the planning system to make it fit for purpose for today’s needs. We will pay particular attention to the proposed changes to Permitted Development, with a focus on ensuring that any new rights do not exacerbate concerns regarding the size and quality of new homes.”

Andy Reid, Director – Intermediary and Network added, “These proposals should provide some comfort for builders, developers and SMEs as they try to cope with the difficult constructions environment we’re likely to face in the coming months.”