August 2020 . Advice

Build, Build, Build

August 2020 . Advice

Build, Build, Build

Zara Moon Architects explain the new rules when it comes to building new homes and how land is set to be earmarked into three categories

To revive our economy and support growth, Boris Johnson’s strategy is to, ‘Build, build, build’. New laws were laid in Parliament in July aiming to deliver much-needed new homes, revitalise town centres, allow businesses to adapt quickly and cut the red-tape.

The new rules, which will come into effect by September, will mean full planning applications will not be required to demolish and rebuild unused buildings as homes and commercial and retail properties can be quickly repurposed to help revive our high streets and town centres.

This will help our high streets and town centres to provide more space for new businesses and help them to adapt quickly to what consumers and businesses need.

Pubs, libraries, village shops and other buildings essential to communities will not be covered by these flexibilities, recognising these form part of the fabric of areas along with theatres, concert halls and live music performance venues, which are to be saved for future generations.

Homeowners will also be able to add up to two additional storeys to their home to create new homes or more living space for growing families through a fast track approval process, with a requirement to carefully consider the impact on neighbours and the appearance of the extension.

The government is also in the process of setting out plans to reform England’s seven-decade old planning system to deliver more high-quality, well-designed homes and beautiful and greener communities for people to live in. The intention is to cut out bureaucracy to get Britain building, while protecting high standards.

The biggest change will see land being divided into three categories: Growth, Renewal and Protected.

On land earmarked for growth, new homes, schools and hospitals will be allowed to be built automatically, with councils unable to veto.

Councils will also be told to push through plans on land marked for renewal.

Protected land will include green belts and areas of natural beauty, where new building plans will not be allowed.

Other key changes in the proposal include:
• All new homes should be carbon neutral by 2050
• All new streets should be tree-lined
• A ‘first homes scheme’, which would give a 30 per cent discount on new builds to first-time buyers, locals and key workers
• A national charge for developers, to replace the existing Section 106 agreements and the Community Infrastructure Levy. This would fund schools, roads, surgeries and similar projects, as well as a proportion of affordable homes

The Government is yet to release further details on how their strategy will be implemented in practice. At ZMA we are reviewing the Government guidance regularly and each month we will provide you with further information on how this may affect your home, land or business.

Contact us if you have a project you would like to discuss with the team.

(Published 16.09.2020)