new build housing

The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities has published the National Planning Policy Framework prospectus and launched the consultation, with responses due by 2 March. This sets out the proposed improvements to the national planning policy that will help deliver the ambitions set out in the Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill (LURB).

Respondees are requested to use the online Citizen Space to complete the survey with their responses, which supports analytics.

Much of the reasoning behind the LURB is about putting communities in charge of what is built locally, and how policy can enable this. Of note, the document re-emphasises government’s commitment to delivering 300,000 homes a year by the mid 2020s, an ambition that has been in doubt based on comments by senior leadership over the last year.

In particular, the document sets out the potential role of new National Development Management Policies (NDMP) – which will frame nationally important policies. This will remove the need for each authority to create these in their own plans, which government hopes will support SME housebuilders, who currently have to navigate a patchwork of approaches. The consultation offers an opportunity to comment on these NDMPs.

Proposals to support owner-commissioned homes

The document stresses a commitment to encourage local planning authorities to support the role of community-led groups in delivering affordable housing on exception sites – an important piece of support for this form of owner-commissioned homes.

It also sets out to review how national policy can support, “smaller developers, self- and custom-build developers and other innovators to enter the market, building a competitive house building market with high standards, strong rules and clear accountability”.

Small sites provision

Questions 24 and 25 of the consultation refer to small sites and the possibility of strengthening the current NPPF’s provision for 10% of housing requirement to be on small sites. The consultation calls on people to comment on this provision, and the ways in which this could be strengthened – and NaCSBA recommends that anyone responding to the consultation touches on these questions. This is because small sites are vital both for the custom and self build sector, but also for the SME housebuilders that deliver on these homes.

Image: Image by Hands off my tags! Michael Gaida from Pixabay

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