The Housing and Planning Act 2016

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The Housing and Planning Act 2016

14 Jul 2016

On 12th May 2016, the Housing and Planning Act 2016 came into force.

It substantially amends existing legislation and, amongst other reasons, has been enacted to meet the Government’s housebuilding objectives in the face of the UK’s prolonged housing shortage.

“Starter homes”

The 2016 Act introduces two new duties on local planning authorities:

1. A general duty to promote the supply of “starter homes” when planning functions are being carried out; and

2. A specific duty to do so in relation to decisions on planning applications, aimed at ensuring “starter homes” become a common feature of residential developments.

“Starter homes” are new dwellings only made available for purchase by qualifying first-time buyers and marketed at a price which is 20% less than market value, as a minimum.

A qualifying first time buyer is anyone aged between 23 and 40, who meets any other criteria as specified in regulations set by the Secretary of State.  The Secretary of State is given sweeping powers to set the criteria, amend price caps and place restrictions on the sales and lettings of starter homes.

Other key changes

The 2016 Act also makes various changes to the English planning system, including the imposition of a duty on local authorities to assemble registers of brownfield land suitable for housing.

A number of changes are also made to the compulsory purchase regime.

For further information on the changes brought about by the 2016 Act, or for advice on how it affects you, please contact us or call 0161 832 3434.

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