Developers cast doubt on starter homes delivery

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Developers have cast doubt on the ability to deliver the government’s target of 200,000 starter homes by 2020…

Last week, the government finally passed the Housing and Planning Bill into legislation. One of the areas it covered is starter homes, which have undoubtedly been a contentious issue.

The government plans to see 200,000 new starter homes built across England by 2020. However, developers have raised doubts about their ability to meet this target.

Secondary legislation for starter homes has yet to be finalised and published, which could put a dampener on the ability to meet ministerial targets.

Melanie Leech, chief executive of the British Property Federation (BPF), said: “The fact that the regulations are still yet to be laid, however, casts into significant doubt whether the government will be able to achieve its promise of 200,000 homes by 2020.

“The longer the government takes to iron out the details of this policy, the more that target slips into the distance. Spades are not likely to be in the ground until 2017 at the earliest, and time is certainly running out.”

The Act includes measures to streamline the process of building, such as brownfield registers, pilot scheme to allow alternative providers to process planning applications, and new arrangements for creating neighbourhood plans. The Act also includes details on extended Right to Buy and the sale of high value council homes, as well as a new clause giving the Secretary of State the ability to grant planning freedoms to local authorities to build new homes.

While there were a number of setbacks when the Bill passed through the Lords, the majority of these were overcome by the government during the ping-pong phase over the past few weeks.

Among the amendments tabled by the Lords to be dropped was flexibility over starter homes provision.

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