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6 September 2012

Government unveils radical plans to boost house building

Permalink: Government unveils radical plans to boost house building
by Gill Montia

Government unveils radical plans to boost house building

The Government has launched a controversial housing and planning package aimed at delivering 70,000 new homes.

The measures include:

• Removing restrictions on house builders to help unlock 75,000 homes currently stalled due to sites being commercially unviable.

• Developers who can prove that council’s affordable housing requirements make the project unviable will see them removed.

• New legislation that guarantees up to £40 billion worth of major infrastructure projects and up to £10 billion of new homes – the Infrastructure (Financial Assistance) Bill will include guaranteeing the debt of Housing Associations and private sector developers.

• Up to 15,000 affordable homes and bringing 5,000 empty homes back into use using new capital funding of £300 million and the infrastructure guarantee.

• An additional 5,000 homes built for rent at market rates in line with proposals outlined in Sir Adrian Montague’s report on boosting the private rented sector.

• Big commercial and residential planning applications to be directed to an infrastructure fast track and where councils are poor, developers can opt to have their decision taken by the Planning Inspectorate.

• Calling time on poor performing town hall planning departments, putting the worst into “special measures” if they have failed to improve the speed and quality of their work and allowing developers to bypass councils. More applications will also go into a fast track appeal process.

• 16,500 first-time buyers to be helped with a £280 million extension of the “FirstBuy” scheme, which offers aspiring homeowners a step on the housing ladder.

• For a time limited period, the sweeping away of the rules and bureaucracy that can prevent families and businesses from making improvements to their properties.

Prime Minister, David Cameron, comments: “The measures announced today show this Government is serious about rolling its sleeves up and doing it all it can to kick-start the economy.

“Some of the proposals are controversial; others have been a long time in coming. But along with our Housing Strategy, they provide a comprehensive plan to unleash one of the biggest homebuilding programmes this country has seen in a generation.”

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