Londoners to benefit from summer budget planning law change


It seems that many will benefit from the Chancellor’s summer budget intentions with George Osborne’s plans to ease laws on adding storeys to individual’s homes. The ease would see property owners being able to build up to the level of their neighbours and whilst there will still be rules to comply with, this should be good news for many people keen to add value to their homes by building additional space.

The new policy document will also increase compulsory purchase powers and make planning permission for suitable brownfield sites automatic. This is part of a drive to increase the amount of houses being built in a bid to address the housing shortage facing Britain. David Cameron stated, during his election campaign, that they were on course to deliver the 200,000 new homes targeted by 2017.

The Chancellor has said that he wants to continue to support people who want to buy their first home and, although he will continue to protect the greenbelt, he sees that the reforms are needed to meet the housing challenges that face the country.

The changes to the planning law will include:

  • A new “zonal” system, as employed in many other countries, which will give automatic planning permission on all suitable brownfield sites, removing unnecessary delays to redevelopment.
  • Power for the government to intervene, and have local plans drafted on setting out how housing needs will be met, when local authorities fail to produce them. Also introducing penalties for local authorities that make 50% or fewer planning decisions on time.

An overview of the housing changes include:

  • Planning powers over land to be governed by Mayors of London and Manchester.
  • Large infrastructure projects that include elements of housing development to be fast-tracked through the Nationally Significant Infrastructure regime – meaning the project does not need to go through full democratic consultation.
  • Changes to extension laws, to ease planning permission for upwards extensions for a limited number of storeys.
  • A package to support small and medium-sized house builders, including new sanctions for local authorities not processing smaller planning applications on time, with earlier fee refunds.

These proposals have come under criticism and challenge from conservationists but the Chancellor has said that the supply of land is currently the biggest factor holding back house building so changes are needed.

If you’re interested in extending your home the best advice is still to contact the local planning office and discuss your proposals before any work begins.

To help you work through the options available to you speak to one of our Mortgage Consultants on 020 8154 7280 today.