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Jenrick's planning goals

- Property Week

  Sneak Peek!

The secretary of state for housing Robert Jenrick has given the industry an early indication of what to expect from the forthcoming planning white paper.
Source: Isabel Infantes_EMPICS Entertainment

  Behind Closed Doors

In a closed-door meeting last week hosted by planning consultancy Thorncliffe, Jenrick said the report’s priorities would include speeding up the planning system and supporting SME housebuilders.

   Process Speed-Up

The minister said that to speed up the planning process the government may extend permitted development rights to the demolition of existing commercial buildings for residential development.

   Support for Local Planners

Another priority will be to give additional support to local authority planning teams. One idea, mooted already in a speech last month by minister for housing Esther McVey, is a Homes England “planning A team” to lend resource and expertise when needed.

   Increased Application Fees

Other changes might include an increase in planning application fees to support under-resourced planning departments, Jenrick said.

   Build Better - Build Beautiful

He suggested the push for a more efficient planning system would be coupled with a drive to ensure that housebuilders provide higher-quality homes that fit in better with their surroundings. He added that the paper is likely to include recommendations from the Building Better, Building Beautiful Commission’s report, published last week.

   SME Support

Increasing support for SME housebuilders is another key priority of the white paper. Jenrick said a whole chapter would be dedicated to this.
He added that the report could be published as early as next month.

  Ambitious for 1st Homes

According to Jenrick, the First Homes scheme outlined in the Tory manifesto would be more ambitious than the failed starter homes policy. He said first-time buyers would be eligible for around 30% market sale discounts, which would be funded by Section 106 contributions.

   Boris to Boost Housing

More generally, Jenrick told attendees that prime minister Boris Johnson supported housing development and was keen to restore the balance between the north and south.

   More Land for Development

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government said in a statement that the planning white paper would “make the planning process clearer, more accessible and more certain for all users, including homeowners and small businesses” and “address resourcing and performance in planning departments and ensure more land is available for development”.

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We'll have more information for you next week. In the meantime, head to Build News for your daily insight into the construction industry.
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