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starter homes boost - the devil is in the detail

8 October 2015

David Cameron’s announcement of “a dramatic shift in housing policy in our country” contains one big idea. He said: “Those old rules which said to developers: you can build on this site, but only if you build affordable homes for rent, we’re replacing them with new rules you can build here, and those affordable homes can be available to buy."

But the big idea is short of detail. Whilst some details can be found within the Government Starter Homes Guidance issued in March this year, what will now be required is explanation of that big idea in the National Planning Policy Framework, with changes to the National Planning Practice Guidance and to the Community Infrastructure Regulations to provide the required detailed guidance.

In the meantime a vacuum has been created as those in housing and planning contemplate the valuation issues arising, the use of model terms and conditions in S106 Agreements, the monitoring arrangements and how the changes will affect existing sites.

That vacuum needs to be filled quickly otherwise there will be a further stalling of delivery of houses whilst those involved in the industry sit on the fence taking stock.

It is recommended that those with an interest in this sign up to be notified of changes to National Planning Practice Guidance as this is likely to be the starting point for the details to be cascaded out.

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