Autumn Statement 2014

The Chancellor of the Exchequer has given his annual Autumn Statement to Parliament in which it was stated that the governemtn will be working with industry and local authorities to test whether more can be done to support the approval of small sites in the planning system.

Among the annoucements made in this year's Autumn Statement is an investment package for infrastructure, including roads, rail and flood defences. This includes £15 billion on 84 road projects, nearly £6 billion funding for local road improvements, and over £2.3 billion towards over 1,400 flooding and coastal erosion protection schemes.

On reforming the planning system the Autumn Statement makes the following announcements that aim to speed up the end-to-end planning process for major and minor applications, and to support SMEs:

  • ensuring that the principle of development need only be established once, to give greater certainty and allow locally-supported development to proceed more quickly taking steps to speed up section 106 negotiations, including revised guidance, consulting on a faster process for reaching agreement, considering how timescales for agreement could be introduced, and improving transparency on the use of section 106 funds
  • keeping the speed of decisions on major applications under review, with the minimum performance threshold increasing to 50% of major decisions on time as performance continues to improve
  • publishing new data on local authorities’ performance in meeting their statutory duty to process smaller planning applications within 8 weeks
  • working with industry and local authorities to test whether more can be done to support the approval of small sites in the planning system
  • publishing proposals for consultation at Budget 2015 on making the Compulsory Purchase Regime clearer, faster and fairer, with the aim of bringing forward more brownfield land for development.

On affordable housing, the statement states that the government is on track to deliver 165,000 affordable homes over the 2015-18 period and will extend affordable housing capital investment to 2018-19 and 2019-20, allowing an average of 55,000 new affordable homes per year continue to be delivered.

To stimulate further investment in shared ownership, the government will extend the scope of Stamp Duty Land Tax multiple dwellings relief so that "lease and leaseback" arrangements with housing associations on shared ownership properties also attract the relief. The government will also consult on options for streamlining the process for selling on shared ownership properties, and will work with housing associations, lenders and the regulator to identify and lift barriers to extending shared ownership.

The Statement also commits funding for a number of housing projects, include the taking forward of existing commitments for up to 42,000 homes, release land with capacity for up to 150,000 homes and commit to new measures to support up to 133,000 homes.

Date: 03/12/2014 Date of publication

Author: HM Treasury

DCP link: This item updates DCP section 8.331

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