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Schapps: new homes could be built without permission

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Affordable housing projects could be built without planning permission if they are backed by the vast majority of local people under new guidelines laid out by the coalition Government

Housing Minister Grant Shapps has announced that new Local Housing Trust (LHT) developments will only need to adhere to basic standards if they have the support of 90 per cent of local people.

Ministers hope that the project will help people in rural areas who are worried by a lack of housing for their local communities. The new rules, part of the Government’s Localism Bill, will also be used to tackle second-home developments, which have been blamed for pricing some people out of their own town.

Shapps said: ‘LHTs will have to show that they have the overwhelming backing from people living in the area and they will need to meet some basic planning criteria to make their proposals sound.

‘But essentially I want communities to have the freedom to decide on the type and quantity of housing without external restrictions imposed by a centralised planning system.’

In response ACA President Brian Waters said: ‘The nightmare is the implied dumbing down of any design which seeks lowest common denominator public approval.’

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