Spending Review: Osborne eyes brownfield sites within green belt for Starter Homes

Chancellor George Osborne has said that the government will support the regeneration of brownfield sites in the green belt for new discounted Starter Homes as he used his Spending Review to set out further changes to the planning system.

Treasury: has unveiled details of joint Spending Review and Autumn Statement
Treasury: has unveiled details of joint Spending Review and Autumn Statement

The joint Spending Review and Autumn Statement, published today, says that the government will accelerate housing supply by "supporting the regeneration of previously developed brownfield sites in the green belt by allowing them to be developed in the same way as other brownfield land, providing it contributes to Starter Homes, and subject to local consultation … such as through neighbourhood plans".

The document adds that the government will bring forward further reforms to the planning system, "including establishing a new delivery test on local authorities to ensure delivery against the number of homes set out in local plans".

The chancellor also pledged to amend planning policy to "support small sites, while ensuring protection for existing gardens", and said that the government would "halve the length of the planning guarantee for minor developments".

The spending review document also said that the government will bring forward proposals for a "more standardised approach to viability assessments, and extend the ability to appeal against unviable section 106 agreements to 2018".

It added that the government will bring forward proposals to strengthen the special measures regime, "by lowering the threshold for the quality of decisions to 10 per cent of all major decisions overturned on appeal. Wider circumstances, such as the status of the local plan and whether appeals relate to this, will be taken into account".

Latest planning performance statistics published by the Department for Communities and Local Government show that seven district authorities had more than 10 per cent of major decisions overturned on appeal in the two years to December 2014 (see infographic, below).

Spending Review and Autumn Statement 2015 is available here.

jamie.carpenter@haymarket.com


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