Government announces planning and housing change to boost growth

In September 2012 the Government announced changes in housing and planning to try to boost the economy.

For First Time Buyers: There is an extension to the Firstbuy scheme whereby first time buyers are given an equity loan of 20% to fund deposits, an extra £280m is to be made available helping 16500 more first time buyers.

On affordable homes: The existing requirement on developers to provide a proportion of affordable homes in any development will be relaxed. Developers who successfully argue that a council’s affordable housing requirements make a project “commercially unviable” will see the requirements removed.

On the rented sector: The government will invest in housing sites to create 5,000 homes for rent at market rates. This follows recommendations in a report by Sir Adrian Montague on the large-scale development of homes for private rent.

Businesses and commercial premises: More applications to build commercial and housing developments will be fast-tracked, with developers allowed to bypass local councils if town hall planning departments are believed to be performing poorly. Businesses will be able to expand by 100 square metres and industrial units by 200 square metres. Shops and offices will also be able to grow to the edges of their premises.

Extensions/lofts on private homes: Ministers are to consult on plans to let people build larger loft conversions and extensions on houses without needing to get permission from local planning officers in non protected (ie conservation) areas. It would double the permitted length of extensions to 8m for detached homes and 6m for others, although it would retain the rule that extensions should not take up more than half the garden.

To discuss your home survey requirements, please contact us on 0845 478 6305 or send us an email to