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Affordable housing quota for small schemes quashed

Houses housing newbuild
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Housebuilders have hailed a ruling they say will make it easier to build small schemes

The Court of Appeal this week restored a government initiative waiving affordable housing requirements for sites of 10 units or fewer.

The Federation of Master Builders (FMB) welcomed the decision, which quashed an earlier High Court judgement against the government policy.

West Berkshire District Council and Reading Borough Council had challenged the policy but were ultimately defeated at the Court of Appeal.

FMB chief executive Brian Berry said the verdict would boost small housebuilders.

’The threshold’s reinstatement will protect the very smallest developments from being lumbered with unaffordable requirements, allowing them to bring forward small-scale, sustainable developments, which will ultimately be of huge benefit to everyone, local councils included,’ he said.

Housing minister Brandon Lewis said: ’We’re committed to building more homes, including record numbers of affordable homes – key to this is removing unnecessary red tape and bureaucracy that prevents builders getting on sites in the first place.

’Today’s judgment by the Court of Appeal restores common sense to the system, and ensures that those builders developing smaller sites - including self-builders - don’t face costs that could stop them from building any homes at all.’

In a joint statement West Berkshire District Council and Reading Borough Council said they were disappointed by the Appeal Court verdict.

’We are reviewing this verdict and currently considering our options as a matter of priority with regard to appeal,’ the statement said. ’Until such time as we have determined how we intend to proceed, it would not be appropriate to comment further.’

 

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