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Housing White Paper set to target green belt and inner-city sites

New Housing Estate 3to2
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The government’s long-awaited Housing White Paper, published next Tuesday, is expected to force councils to build more homes on green belt and inner-city plots

In the white paper Sajid Javid, the communities secretary, is also set to relax building height restrictions and recommend moving car parks underground in order to create more space for housing development, according to The Times.

The newspaper also reported that the government could impose ‘more ambitious’ building targets on councils where there is a high demand for housing, including imposing five-year quotas. 

The white paper is also set to restrict land banking – whereby developers sit on sites and sell off smaller plots, rather than developing them – by withdrawing planning permissions and compulsory purchase orders, according to The Times.

It has also been reported retain key sites will be reserved for the construction of modular homes, which can be built more quickly. 

Last month, it was reported that ministers fear a ‘huge backlash in Middle England’ over Javid’s proposals to accelerate house building through reforms to the planning system. 

Since 2015, the government has been working to meet its target of building one million homes – the equivalent of about 200,000 a year – by 2020. Government figures show about 189,900 homes were built or converted in the financial year 2015-16, a figure which, despite marking an improvement on previous years, falls short of its target and is significantly below the annual 300,000 homes recommended by the House of Lords’ Select Committee on Economic Affairs last July.

The Housing White Paper was originally expected to be released alongside the Autumn Statement in November, but it has been repeatedly delayed.

Burd Haward Architects' infill housing in Camden

Burd Haward Architects’ infill housing in Camden

Burd Haward Architects’ infill housing in Camden



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Readers' comments (1)

  • Chris Rogers

    A mixed bag, surely. Land banking MUST be addressed, yet planning policy is already heavily weighted in developers' favour.

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