Another potential U-turn of housing policy

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News article

Another potential U-turn of housing policy

September 2015

starter homes

The Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG) has just been granted leave to appeal against the recent quashing of new guidance on affordable housing thresholds.

In July, the High Court sided with Reading Borough and West Berkshire District Council deleting the new guidance on affordable housing which had allowed schemes of 10 dwellings or fewer to be exempt from affordable housing provision.   DCLG will now present its case to reinstate the policy.  

If successful, this will ease the burden on smaller, local housebuilders who generally develop sites of this size. It will improve the viability for smaller schemes in rural areas where affordable housing contributions can be triggered at only one new dwelling. However, the wider need for affordable housing will remain in place, and it may be up to larger developments to make up the shortfall in delivery which this policy will create.  

Applications and emerging Local Plan policy relating to the provision of affordable housing on proposals of 10 or fewer dwellings are expected to be held in abeyance until the outcome of this high court appeal is known.

Kay Davies, Partner in the Fisher German Planning Team, comments that “Whilst this is another potential swing in policy which will create further uncertainty, the success of an appeal and the reinstatement of the 10 house threshold for affordable housing will be welcomed by landowners and developers on smaller sites as margins remain very tight.”

 
 
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