Queen announces new Bill to speed up property development

As part of the Queen’s speech earlier this month, she explained new government legislation and the Neighbourhood Planning and Infrastructure Bill, which is hoped to speed up property development in the UK, writes Richard Carr.

Reforms

Richard Carr comments on queens speech

How easy is it to speed up the planning process?

The newly introduced bill will introduce a number of reforms that will speed up the planning process and hand local communities more power regarding neighbourhood planning.

The government stated: “the new legislation would tackle the overuse, and in some cases, misuse of certain planning conditions, and thereby ensure that development can get underway without unnecessary delay.”

In the Queen’s speech she also outlined plans to streamline pre-commencement planning conditions to speed up housing developments.

Affordable housing

The bill will be enforced at a time of major upheaval for the property sector, with new Mayor of London Sadiq Khan recently vowing to increase affordable housing in the capital.

Development specialist Charles Holland told residentiallandloard.co.uk: “Significantly increasing the supply of new homes will enable house prices to remain steady rather than becoming more out of reach for first-time buyers.

“We welcome the idea of greater affordability for the city’s young professionals – but to insist that all developments in London must provide 50 per cent affordable housing will have a significant negative impact on land values, which will result in landowners considering alternate uses or withholding the release of land completely.

“For land already acquired by developers/housebuilders, the new 50 per cent affordable housing requirement will render the majority of new-build projects unviable, thereby stemming the flow of much needed supply. Simply, there can’t be a one-rule-fits-all approach for such a diverse city, and the mayor and his housing chief must be careful not to stymie house building in London if they hope to reach their ambitious target of delivering 50,000 new homes each year.”

Speed

As a property consultant Richard Carr supports any reforms that focus on improving the speed of the country’s planning system. However, he is yet to see any evidence of how this will be achieved by the government, unless they provide extra resource to local planning authorities then nothing will change.