Housing & Planning Bill to Streamline Self-Build

by Andrew Hobbs
24th October 2015

Budding self-builders have received a welcome boost in Greg Clark’s proposed Housing and Planning Bill, which looks set to go a step further than the provisions set out in Richard Bacon MP’s Self- Build and Custom Housebuilding Act.

Much of the Bill focuses on kick-starting home building by removing common planning obstacles in place of a more proactive system, therefore smoothing the way for housebuilders in appropriate locations.

It supplements the current regime – already a game-changer – by placing a duty on councils to grant planning permission in principle for enough serviced plots of land to meet the demand for self-build and custom housebuilding within their jurisdictions.

Permission in Principle will be granted automatically when housing is identified on brownfield registers or local plans. Demand would be measured by local registers and fulfilled annually, an approach already common in Germany. This is predicted to double the number of custom built and self built homes by 2020.

Under the legislation, The Mayor of London would receive further planning powers to facilitate strategic development and increase housing delivery in London.

The Bill also seeks to tackle under-performing planning authorities. Planning applications for non-major development will go through the Planning Inspectorate in those areas where the planning authority has a poor track record.

However, the Government will allow most local decisions to be processed at the lowest appropriate level, ensuring that interventions are more targeted and proportionate.

Together these clauses offer an exciting opportunity for potential self-builders of the future and indicate a significant growth in such projects. The Bill will see its second House of Commons reading on 2 November.

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