Five Point plan for housing announced in Spending Review

Thursday 03 December 2015

At the Autumn Statement and Spending Review the Chancellor announced what he called 'opportunities for home ownership: Five Point Plan'.

This Spending Review, which unusually was arranged to coincide with the Chancellor's Autumn Statement prioritises housing by doubling the housing budget from 2018-19. The 2015 Spending Review sets out a Five Point Plan for housing to:

1) Deliver 400,000 affordable housing starts by 2020-21, focussed on low cost home ownership. This will include:

  • 200,000 Starter Homes which will be sold at a 20% discount compared to market value to young first time buyers, with a £2.3 billion fund to support the delivery of up to 60,000 of these, in addition to those delivered through reform of the planning system.
  • 135,000 Help to Buy: Shared Ownership homes, which will allow more people to buy a share in their home and buy more shares over time, as they can afford to. The scheme will be open to all households earning less than £80,000 outside London and £90,000 in London, and will relax and remove previous restrictions such as local authorities’ rights to set additional eligibility criteria.
  • 10,000 homes that will allow a tenant to save for a deposit while they rent. This will be in addition to 50,000 affordable homes from existing commitments.
  • At least 8,000 specialist homes for older people and people with disabilities.

2) The government will launch a pilot of the Right to Buy with five Housing Associations, to inform the design of the final scheme.

3) Accelerate housing supply and get more homes built by:

  • Bringing forward further reforms to the planning system, including establishing a new delivery test on local authorities, to ensure delivery against the number of homes set out in Local Plans.

  • Supporting the availability of appropriate land for housing, including by releasing public sector land with capacity for 160,000 homes representing a more than 50% increase on the government’s record in the last parliament.

  • Ensuring the release of unused and previously undeveloped commercial, retail, and industrial land for Starter Homes, and supporting the regeneration of previously developed brownfield sites in the green belt by allowing them to be developed in the same way as other brownfield land, providing it contributes to Starter Homes, and subject to local consultation.

  • Backing SME house builders, including by amending planning policy to support small sites, extending the £1 billion Builders’ Finance Fund to 2020-21, and halving the length of the planning guarantee for minor developments.

  • Offering £2.3 billion in loans to help regenerate large council estates and invest in infrastructure needed for major housing developments.

  • Investing £310 million to deliver the first new garden city in nearly 100 years, at Ebbsfleet. This is part of a wider £700 million programme of regeneration at Barking Riverside, Brent Cross, Northstowe and Bicester Garden Town. Together these will support up to 60,000 new homes.

4) Extend the Help to Buy: Equity Loan scheme to 2021 and create a London Help to Buy scheme, offering a 40% equity loan in recognition of the higher housing costs in the capital.

5) Introduce higher rates of Stamp Duty Land Tax. A three per cent surcharge will be charged on purchases of additional residential properties, such as buy to let properties and second homes, with effect from 1 April 2016

OTHER ANNOUNCEMENTS

DCLG
The DCLG has agreed to an overall resource saving of 29 per cent by 2019-20.

Planning conditions
The government will review the operation of the deemed discharge of planning conditions.

Local plans
The government will bring forward proposals for a delivery test on local authorities, to ensure delivery against the homes set out in local plans within a reasonable timeframe.

Neighbourhood plans
The government will ensure that local communities can allocate land for housing through neighbourhood plans, even if that land is not allocated in the local plan.

Starter Homes
The government will amend planning policy to ensure the release of unused and previously undeveloped commercial, retail and industrial land for Starter Homes, and support regeneration of previously developed, brownfield sites in the greenbelt, by allowing them to be developed in the same way as brownfield sites elsewhere, providing it delivers Starter Homes. This will be subject to local consultation, such as through neighbourhood plans.

SME house builders
The government will halve the length of the planning guarantee and amend planning policy to support small sites, while ensuring protection for existing gardens.

Right to Consent
The government will also strengthen the existing legislation around Right to Contest to allow local communities to challenge the use of land and property that is in use by local authorities.