Owen Pike explores whether the Housing and Planning bill will increase housing delivery

Published on: 12th May 2016

Earlier this year the government announced a £1.2 billion starter home fund, to prepare brownfield sites for new homes.  The government believe that the fund will fast-track the creation of at least 30,000 new starter homes and up to 30,000 market homes, on 500 new sites by 2020.

Owen Pike, associate partner in our planning department comments on the government’s starter home fund:

“It is questionable whether the Housing and Planning bill will increase housing delivery, certainly in the short term, because of uncertainty over the provision of affordable housing.

There is a general duty to promote supply of starter homes within the bill but it is not clear whether starter homes need to be provided instead of affordable housing requirements, or in addition to. This is a critical point and I believe ‘live’ residential applications could stall until the government clarifies, because it will have an impact on the viability of projects.

If councils are forced to sell their housing stock under Right to Buy, this could force the poorest out of expensive areas like London. Planning for all members of society is crucial to delivering balanced communities and driving economic growth.

It is highly questionable whether growing businesses will remain in – or relocate to – areas where house prices are high, the supply of stock is limited, new development is restricted by planning constraints and where commuting levels are significant if their employees cannot afford to buy a home.

The proposals to reform the planning system and provide more land to build homes are welcome and should help to increase housing provision. This includes introducing a Planning Permission in principle, requiring local authorities to grant planning permission for enough service plots to meet the demand of self-build and custom house building and giving greater powers to the secretary of state to intervene in the preparation of local plans.

However, in order to meet the needs of the whole population, including people who will never be homeowners, I think the government should reconsider its proposals for extending right to buy. Similarly, funding should be made available for councils to build their own housing stock.”

Contact Owen

Mobile: 07889 701547

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We provide a complete planning service to a range of private and public sector clients including property owners, occupiers, developers, investors, institutions and local planning authorities in the residential, commercial, renewables, leisure and agricultural sectors. Our advice is based on extensive knowledge of the ever-complex and fast-changing UK planning system.  This enables us to provide bespoke and cost-effective advice at all stages of development from project inception, spatial master planning to negotiating final project delivery. We pride ourselves on always offering one principal point of contact which means our advice is always consistent and provided in a timely manner.  It also means that each member of our team embraces responsibility.  Our collaborative way of working with other technical specialists means we are experts at finding solutions to assist in unlocking latent value. The Planning Process   The basis for decision making is set out on planning legislation, that is, “if regard is to be had to the development plan for the purposes of any determination to be made under the Planning Acts the determination must be made in accordance with the plan unless material considerations indicate otherwise". We apply this approach to each of our planning services.  Our Services We offer the following services: • Planning Strategy Formulation • Planning Appraisals • Planning Applications & Appeals • Community & Stakeholder Engagement • Environmental Impact Assessment • Planning Obligation Negotiation • Land Promotion • Policy Representations • Monitoring Services • Master Planning & Development Briefs • Due Diligence   Contact Us

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The Housing and Planning Act 2016

A Potential Significant Opportunity for the Park Homes Sector: 'Park Home' is the industry name for a caravan which is used for residential purpose. National Planning Policy, as reflected in the NPPF, requires Local Planning Authorities (LPAs) to produce Local Plans that will deliver the full, Objectively Assessed Needs (OAN), for market and affordable housing in the housing market area. The Government's online Planning Practice Guidance (PPG) sets out the methodology for assessing housing need; it refers to specific types of housing which should be considered. No reference is made to Park Homes or residential caravans. Accordingly, there is no duty for LPAs to forward plan for provision of this type of housing. Clause 124 of The Housing and Planning Act 2016: The Act received Royal Assent on 12 May 2016 and Clause 124 relates to the Assessment of accommodation needs. It requires local housing authorities in England to consider: "...the needs of people residing in or resorting to their district with respect to the provision of-  (a) sites on which caravans can be stationed..." This suggests that local housing authorities (this includes District Councils and London Borough Councils) will need to start forward planning for provision of residential caravans. This is a significant step change from other recent planning legislation because it is the first time non-gypsy caravans have been recognised as having a role in contributing towards the supply of housing in a given area. Clause 124 comes into force on 12 July 2016. Potential Implications for Planning: It is predicted that the online PPG will be updated such that it will specifically identify Park Homes (either this specific term or residential caravans) as an additional type of housing that needs to be considered and planned for. If this does not happen soon after 12 July 2016, it is suggested that the Park Homes sector should lobby the Government and request that it updates its planning guidance to reflect the Housing and Planning Act. In the meantime, it is suggested that Clause 124 could be used by applicants in planning statements of case as an additional reason t justify additional Park Homes. How We Can Help: Undertake planning appraisals to establish the prospects for obtaining planning permission for park homes, or holiday caravans; Devise planning statements of case – we have been successful recently in obtaining planning permissions for park homes by explaining their social and economic benefits; Manage the application process – timescales and delivery; and. Monitor applications, respond to comments from consultees and negotiate permissions   Contact Owen Mobile: 07889 701547 13/07/2016

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New planning boost for park home sector

Owen Pike, head of our planning team, comments on how park home operators could benefit from changes to planning laws, which identify residential caravans as an additional type of housing for the first time. Clause 124 of the Housing and Planning Act 2016, which came into force on 12 July, recognises residential caravans as having a role in contributing towards the supply of housing in a given area.

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