The UK government will set out its vision this autumn to “unlock homeownership” for a new generation by building more homes in the places people want to live and work and by getting our housing market moving, according to the Treasury’s 2022 growth plan.
Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng announced in this morning’s mini budget that “a list of infrastructure projects will be prioritised for acceleration” across various sectors.
These include increasing housing supply, enabling forthcoming planning reforms as well as increasing the disposal of surplus government land to build new homes.
The Treasury’s growth plan says the government “must accelerate housing delivery”.
While planning permission was granted for more than 310,000 homes last year, up 10% from the year before, the Treasury highlights that “further reform is needed”.
It says that the plans, to be announced in due course, will “boost growth across the UK helping more people afford to live near good jobs”.
The plan states that the government will promote the disposal of surplus public sector land by allowing departments greater flexibility to reinvest the proceeds of land sales over multiple years.
It says: “This will encourage the sale of more public land for housing and allow departments and the NHS to reinvest in public services. Devolved administrations have bespoke flexibilities to move funding between financial years and the government will discuss the implications of this change with them in due course.”
The government will work with the devolved administrations and local partners to introduce “investment zones”, that will aim to drive growth and unlock housing, across the UK.
The growth plan says that the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities will shortly set out more detail on the planning offer, including details on the level of deregulation and the streamlined mechanism for securing planning permission.
Former RICS residential chairman Jeremy Leaf says: “The ambition to reduce planning red tape and improve delivery is particularly interesting because if there is one thing we need more than anything it is additional affordable housing to sell and to rent.”
“Nothing is more frustrating than gaining planning permission for suitable schemes and then waiting sometimes more than a year for work to begin as often unnecessary regulation needs dealing with.”