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Shake-up hope for new homes
A MAJOR shake-up of planning rules has been announced in a move which will give homeowners more freedom to extend their properties.
The Government announcement yesterday will see up to 70,000 new homes, including more than 15,000 affordable houses and 140,000 construction jobs created with Prime Minister David Cameron saying it would “unleash one of the biggest homebuilding programmes this country has seen in a generation”.
City of York Council welcomed the news, which also encourages negotiable affordable home numbers with larger developments, with Councillor David Merrett saying the plans would help stimulate economic growth.
He said: “Over the past ten years, only ten schemes have required negotiation on the affordable homes target. It is in no-one’s interests for the process to be unfair or fettered with red tape. Our officers are meeting with some of the smaller developers where there are sites ready for house building to understand what more can be done to get work started. Also we are working hard with the larger developers to initiate work on other sites.”
Ian Hessay, managing director for developer Linden Homes, said: “This is not just about affordable homes targets. We need to see the detail of the Government’s proposals in affordable housing delivery and how this review will work in practice. We need to remove targets for those developments of ten properties and below, to enable smaller developers to continue developing.”
Councillor Tracey Simpson-Laing said the announcement lacked clarity about where funding would come from to build the houses that Government had announced would be built.
She said: “The target of 15,000 nationally is absolutely woeful given the pressures already in our cities and also here in York. The Yorkshire region alone needs more than 15,000 new houses.”
Part of the move will see planning red tape cut for thousands of smaller developments and individuals will be allowed to extend their homes up to eight metres without full planning permission for a limited period.
However, there is concern such a move could see local councils lose thousands of pounds in planning fees, and face an increase in subsequent complaints.
Selby district and town councillor Steve Shaw-Wright said: “The announcement about houses and homeowners being able to extend isn’t going to do much for housebuilding and will lead to councils losing more money because there won’t be any planning fees coming in. The Government still hasn’t said whether people will need building regulations and I imagine they would, which will lead to time delays, because you can’t just sling something up. It will also lead to neighbour disputes if some monstrosity gets built.”