posted on 07 February 2017, updated on 07 February 2017

The government's White Paper, Fixing Our Broken Housing Market, was published on 7 February 2017 and focuses on plans for addressing problems in the housing market by increasing the supply of new homes.

Proposals in the White Paper include:

  • plans to set out a rent policy for social housing landlords for the period beyond 2020, after the four-year period of 1% rent decreases, to provide certainty for future borrowing
  • requirements through the Neighbourhood Planning Bill for every local authority to have an up-to-date plan, and powers for the government to intervene to ensure plans are in place
  • measures to strengthen neighbourhood planning
  • plans to consult on a new standardised methodology for calculating objectively assessed housing need
  • changes to the National Planning Policy Framework to maximise the use of suitable land, including brownfield sites, and to encourage higher-density housing
  • increasing nationally set planning fees, with local authorities able to increase fees by 20% from July 2017 if they commit to invest the additional income in their planning departments
  • plans to consult on new fees for making planning appeals, to deter unnecessary appeals
  • plans to ensure infrastructure is provided to support new housing
  • review of the system of developer contributions, with an annoucement due in autumn 2017
  • measures to help local authorities to speed up the delivery of housing by developers after grant of planning permission
  • a new 'housing delivery test' for local authorities, with measures to address under-supply
  • measures to diversify the housing market
  • a policy expectation that new sites will deliver a minimum of 10% affordable home ownership, rather than a mandatory requirement for starter homes
  • a new duty for local authorities under the Homelessness Reduction Bill to take steps to prevent homelessness.

The Annex to the White Paper sets out further details and a range of consultation questions. Responses are due by 2 May 2017.

A revised National Planning Policy Framework, incorporating many of the above changes, will be published later in 2017.

A number of other documents have been published alongside the White Paper including a consultation on planning and affordable housing for Build to Rent and outcomes of previous consultations on starter homes regulations and changes to the National Planning Policy Framework.

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