Theresa May's much-trailed speech on increasing housing development via changes to planning rules has been delivered at the National Planning Conference this morning.
The key messages include:
- councils to have minimum targets for delivery of new homes in their areas;
- improvements to make the planning process simpler and faster (particularly around CIL/s106 contributions);
- increased flexibilities to develop homes on brownfield land;
- more freedom to extend properties upwards;
- focus on reducing land-banking by private developers, e.g. by allowing planners to take in account a developer's past record in actually delivering , and by tying bonuses to delivery of new homes instead of profits;
- focus on delivering more affordable homes;
- Protection for the Green Belt remains - unless planners can show that they have exhausted all other options
All steps in the right direction, as part of a broader strategy needed to fix the housing crisis.
Up to 80 proposals set out in last year's housing white paper will now be implemented, including requiring councils to adopt a new nationwide standard that shows how many homes they need to plan for in their area