Queen’s speech demonstrates intention to secure new homes delivery
More than 1.3 million families could benefit from a dramatic extension to the Right-to-Buy scheme revealed in the Queen’s Speech.
Senior Partner at FBC Manby Bowdler, Niall Blackie, said the move will now put home ownership within reach of tenants of Housing Associations.
It was one of a number of planning and housing related announcements made by HM The Queen today as she announced the legislative programme of the new Conservative Government.
Mr Blackie said: “The Queen’s Speech is necessarily a short summary of the Bills that will be debated in Parliament during the next session: headlines only. There is more detail in the background paper issued by the Prime Minister’s office just before the Speech was read.
“The main news is, as predicted, there will indeed be a new Housing Bill with the object of ‘dramatically extending’ the Right to Buy to the tenants of Housing Associations – so as to put home ownership within the reach of 1.3 million more families.
“The Bill will also require councils to sell ‘high-value’ council houses and then put the proceeds from this into building new affordable homes. The homes will be sold at a discount from market value of 20%.
“The Government also intends the Bill to fulfil its manifesto commitment to raise the proportion of brownfield land that is developed and to ensure that 90 per cent of suitable brownfield land is ready for development.
“This is to be achieved by encouraging councils to use the relatively new Local Development Orders to grant planning approval for specific types of development within particular defined areas, rather than waiting for full planning applications to be made by developers, a process which is designed to save time and cost.
“It will also seek to ensure that 200,000 discounted Starter Homes can be built specifically for young first-time buyers – those under 40 years old.
“The Bill is also intended, again as predicted, to ensure that ‘local people have more control over planning’ and this will be achieved through measures to simplify and speed up the neighbourhood planning system, and to support communities that seek to meet local housing and other development needs through the neighbourhood planning process.
“Other legislation will require local planning authorities to support custom and self-builders registered in their area in identifying suitable plots of land to build or commission their own home.
“Obviously, the detail of all of these Bills is now eagerly awaited, but the commitment by Greg Clark MP, the Secretary of State, to securing the delivery of new housing for the country is clearly one that the Government intends to continue.”