27th November 2017
The Government’s Autumn Budget has prioritised three major themes as part of a renewed push for more housing with an increased target of building 300,000 more homes per year. These are:
The headline measure that has arguably generated the most amount of discussion is the increase in the liability threshold for stamp duty land tax (SDLT) to £300,000 for first-time buyers for properties of £500,000 or less. However there are some new and interesting proposals for planning:
In terms of infrastructure funding, the Government has baulked at abolishing the Community Infrastructure Levy entirely, but policy changes – including the reversal of the prohibition on pooling Section 106 planning obligation contributions – suggest the levy is to be allowed to wither on the vine for complex development. For simpler developments there is the potential for more complex rate setting: rates may be set by reflecting the uplift in land values between a proposed and existing use with a faster turnaround for examinations.
The Government has mooted a new layer of statutory levy for combined local planning authorities. The Strategic Infrastructure Tariff (SIT) would be designed to assist the funding of strategic and local infrastructure. To speed up build out, the Government is strengthening the housing delivery test, re-emphasising small site delivery and will consult on removing the exemptions from the deemed discharge rules that apply to planning conditions.
The announcements in the Budget are in addition to a raft of other planning reforms which are in the pipeline, not least the reforms proposed in the housing white paper and the revision and the publication of the National Planning Policy Guidance in the Spring of 2018.