• TP Editorial Team

Housing and Planning Act 2016 Published

The full text of the Housing and Planning Act 2016 has now been released. The publication of the act comes around seven months after the Housing and Planning Bill was originally introduced to Parliament in October last year.

On publication, the Government said the Bill would kick-start a “national crusade to get 1 million homes built by 2020” and transform “generation rent into generation buy.” The supply-side measures in the Bill are primarily focused on speeding up the planning system with the aim of delivering more housing. There was also a focus on home ownership, with measures to facilitate the building of Starter Homes; self/custom build housing; and the extension of the Right to Buy to housing association tenants. Other measures in the Bill are aimed at tackling “rogue” landlords.

The Act introduces:

  • a new requirement that discounted Starter Homes for first-time buyers under 40 must be delivered on reasonably-sized sites.

  • the introduction of "permission in principle", a new type of automatic consent for housing sites allocated in an adopted local plan, neighbourhood plan, or local brownfield register.

  • unlock brownfield land to provide homes faster, requiring local authorities to prepare, maintain and publish local registers of specified land.

  • support the doubling of the number of custom-built and self-built homes to 20,000 by 2020.

  • ensure that every area has a local plan.

  • reform the compulsory purchase process to make it clearer, fairer and faster.

  • simplify and speed up neighbourhood planning.

  • a new section in the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004 to enable the Secretary of State to direct a local planning authority not to take any step in connection with the adoption of a development plan document pending possible use of other intervention powers. This section has enabled the Communities Secretary to intervene in the Birmingham Development Plan - please see related article of 13 May 2016.

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