After Boris Johnson pledges to “build, build, build” to make homes more affordable, the government unveils what is billed as the biggest change in the planning system since its inception in 1947.
Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick said “outdated and cumbersome” planning rules, in which it takes an average of five years to approve a new development, fuel a “generational gap” between older landlords and young people who find it difficult to climb the property ladder.
Under new rules, land will be classified into three categories.
The land for growth will automatically build new homes, schools and general practitioner practices – if the council has deemed it necessary.
Renovation areas, mainly existing urban areas, will see the plans get “clearance in principle”, to speed up the process while allowing for proper controls, to regenerate main streets and allow new housing developments.
And protected lands, such as the Green Belt and Areas of Outstanding National Beauty, will be closed to further development.
In the Sunday Telegraph, Mr Jenrick said: “Our country’s outdated and cumbersome planning system has contributed to a generational gap between those who own property and those who do not. Half of young people aged 16 to 34 have their own home. , compared to people aged 35 to 64. ”
He added: ‘While house prices have skyrocketed since the millennium, with England increasing at one of the fastest rates in Europe, our complex and slow planning system has been a hindrance to building affordable housing where families want to raise children. and build their life.
“This has resulted in delays in vital infrastructure projects that come with new housing. Communities lack new hospitals, new schools and improved roads, and restrictions have left abandoned buildings like horrors and empty shops on our main streets, instead of helping them adapt and evolve. ”
The government hopes that loosening planning laws will create millions of construction jobs and give the economy a much needed boost as the retail and hospitality sectors continue to grow. struggle.
In their election manifesto, the Tories pledged to build 300,000 new homes a year “in areas that really need it”, but to try to build public support for them by insisting on better designed and more attractive homes. .
:: Listen to the daily podcast on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Spreaker
Mr Jenrick says the reformed planning system would build on the 19th-century “model book” architecture, in which the house’s designs should be in harmony with the local area.
Councilor James Jamieson, president of the Association of Local Governments, said: “Any suggestion that planning is a barrier to building houses is a myth. Nine out of 10 planning applications are approved by councils, while more than one million homes that have been granted building permits in the past decade have yet to do so. been built.
“We all want great communities. The planning system must be able to ensure that amenities are of a high standard, are built in the right places, include affordable housing and are supported by an infrastructure that provides enough schools, promotes greener and more active travel. and tackle climate change.
“It was only last week that the government’s independent report warned of the worst quality of homes not delivered by the planning system.
“We urge the government to heed these warnings and not to further neglect the planning process. We are ready to work with the government to ensure that any reform improves the system. “