Boris Johnson has announced the “most radical” reforms of the planning system since the end of the Second World War, as he pledged to “build a more beautiful Britain”.
The Prime Minister pledged to “build better and build greener”, adding: “but we will also build faster”.
It will become easier to get permission to turn commercial buildings into residential homes without requiring planning permission, the Prime Minister has said.
It will also become easier to develop brownfield sites which he said will make way for “fantastic new homes”.
“Time is money, and the newt-counting delays in our system are a massive drag on the productivity and the prosperity of this country,” he said in a speech in Dudley.
Johnson criticised the “chronic failure of the British state” to build enough homes, “decade after decade”.
Build a commercial building without requiring planning permission:
It will also become easier to change the use of a commercial building without requiring planning permission.
For example, a building used for retail would be able to be permanently used as a café or office without requiring a planning application and local authority approval.
Existing commercial properties, including vacant shops, could be converted into homes more easily. However, pubs, libraries, village shops will not be covered by these changes as they are the “essential to the lifeblood of communities”.
No normal planning application required:
Builders will no longer need a normal planning application to demolish and rebuild vacant and redundant residential and commercial buildings if they are rebuilt as homes.
It will also be possible to build additional space above properties through a fast-track planning system, subject to neighbour consultation.
The £12bn affordable homes programme will support up to 180,000 new affordable homes in England over the next eight years.
However, this appeared to water down the commitment in the Budget, which pledged £12.2bn for affordable homes over five years.
First Homes programme for first-time buyers:
The programme will include a 1,500 unit pilot of “First Homes”. That will be available to first-time buyers at a 30% discount.
Ed Miliband, shadow business secretary, said:
“So now we discover this ‘FDR’ speech cuts money for affordable housing -£12bn over 5 years in Budget 2020, now £12bn over 8 years. What an absolute fraud.”
The planning system reforms are due to come into effect by September after changes to the planning laws. Ministers will publish a planning Policy Paper in July setting out plans to reforms of England’s planning system.
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