Guides & Advice

Billions promised to kick start the economy

Published: 1st July 2020
Area: Real Estate & Planning

Billions promised to kick start the economy

Welcome news for housebuilders, registered providers, developers and planning authorities.

Promises to ‘build build build’ and to put infrastructure, planning and skills at the centre of the Government’s plans to kick start the economy were announced today along with a host of others measures totalling billions of pounds.

As part of a "new deal", Mr Johnson also set out plans to "bring forward" £5bn on infrastructure projects, rewrite planning rules and make better use of under-utilised brownfield land in towns and cities.

What are the new announcements?

Home Building

Inline the government’s primary theme of capital investment in infrastructure announced as part of the last budget and in line with the Tory manifesto, there has been a pledge to build "fantastic new homes on brownfield sites and other areas with better transport.  But not just homes – ‘beautiful and low carbon homes.’

The announcements are in addition to the recent package of measures which include:

  • A £12bn affordable homes programme including 180,000 new affordable homes for ownership and rent over the next eight years
  • The affordable homes programme will include 1,500 unit pilot of ‘First Homes’: houses which will be sold to first time buyers at a 30% discount which will remain in perpetuity, keeping them affordable for generations of families to own.
  • Funds from the £400m Brownfield Land Fund have today been allocated to the West Midlands, Greater Manchester, West Yorkshire, Liverpool City Region, Sheffield City Region, and North of Tyne and Tees Valley to support around 24,000 homes.
  • The Home Builders Fund to help smaller developers access finance for new housing developments will receive an additional £450m boost. This is expected to support the delivery of around 7,200 new homes. 

Extended Permitted Developed Rights

A promise to extend permitted development rights to include: a wider range of commercial of buildings that can be changed to residential without a need for planning application and property owners being able to build additional space above their properties via a fast track process with neighbour consultation.

Planning system reform

An acknowledgement that the current system is holding back growth and a promise to overhaul the planning system which will allow the UK to ‘build better, build greener and build faster’ and a commitment to ‘project’ speed’ – cutting red tape and reducing delays.

Home Ownership

The government reiterated its commitment to increasing homeownership opportunities for young people and a promise to help younger people get on the housing ladder.

Skills

A promise to ‘reskill’ to help tackle the consequences of the crisis with an acknowledgement that unfortunately many people will lose their jobs and some businesses will not survive with a pledge to offer every young person a chance of an apprenticeship or in work placement.

Neil Gosling, head of residential development commented, “This announcement is positive news for the housing sector, but the proof will be in the pudding. Acknowledging that facilitating development of new housing will help an economic recovery, is the recognition the sector deserves, however housing has been high on the political agenda in every manifesto with little change. We now need to see quick positive action. If the market is going to have any chance of a quick recovery, funding for first time buyers needs to be high on the agenda, and the extension of Help 2 Buy funding has to be a serious consideration”.

“And of course, this is welcome news for the affordable housing sector too”, comments Lou Drew, head of building communities.  “There was some concern that funding would be withdrawn, which could have impacted on their planned programmes. There is also much talk about energy being the catalyst to reversing the recession, especially when smart and green homes will be high on the agenda following Covid-19. We should also not forget the chatter around retirement living and how the building of more retirement homes will free up much needed family homes to ensure housing chains are there to get everyone moving, whilst at the same time creating more sustainable and better homes for our older generation so they avoid self isolation, health and well being issues for as long as is possible”.

Contact us
For further information please contact Neil Gosling, Louise Drew or another member of the real estate team.

We have launched our guide to recovery and resilience, helping to support businesses and individuals unlock their potential, navigate their way out of lockdown and make way for a brighter future. Further advice in relation to COVID-19 can be found on our dedicated coronavirus resource hub.

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