Amid the Budget headlines are several publications highlighting the Government’s response to the housing crisis, outlining support for the delivery of the Oxford to Cambridge Arc proposals, and providing suggested changes to Permitted Development (PD) rights.
We expect many of the proposals will be followed up by Government, which will have an impact on how and where we work providing a range of prospects for our existing and future clients. We have summarised the most relevant below:
- In the Autumn Budget 2018, the Government pledge an extra £20 million of funding from the Housing Infrastructure Fund to develop the business case for East-West Rail. The project will improve transport links between Oxford and Cambridge. It will explore the routes which best support the government’s vision to unlock up to 1 million new homes by 2050.
- Also in the Budget 2018, it is proposed that Parish Councils will be able to allocate sites to develop homes for sale to local people at a discount, with £8.5 million of ‘resource support’. A further ‘strengthening’ of the power of neighbourhood plans is also suggested.
- To support the high street, Government have suggested changing the use class order to allow more flexible changes of use between buildings in A1 (Shops), A2 (Professional Services) and A3 (Restaurants and Cafes) uses.
- On a bigger scale, looking at the Oxford to Cambridge Arc, Government will explore preparing a single spatial plan for the ‘growth corridor’ and are suggesting strengthening ‘democratically-accountable’ governance arrangements across the area. Government were responding to the NIC Partnering for Prosperity Study from November 2017.
- At the national level, Homes England have published their Strategic Plan for up to 2023. Homes England is Government’s ‘housing accelerator’ in response to the housing crisis and are seeking to strike bold deals and innovative partnerships to increase housing delivery. Edgars highlight that there will be opportunities for housing businesses – big and small – across the housing sector.
- Sir Oliver Letwin, in his Independent Review of Build Out Report, has recommended that future large sites (over 1,500 homes) provide a diversity of homes in areas of high demand for homes and councils are given compulsory purchase powers of land designated for large sites.
- In their consultation response to Supporting Housing Delivery Through Developer Contributions, Government propose to lift the pooling restrictions on Section 106 contributions in all areas and to take forward proposals to allow councils to seek a fee from applicants towards monitoring planning obligations.
- National Government have published their Interim Response to the National Infrastructure Assessment alongside the budget 2018 specifying that a full response in the form of a National Infrastructure Strategy will be published in 2019.
Earlier this year, Running Out of Road was published by the National Infrastructure Commission as part of the Partnering for Prosperity (Oxford-Cambridge Arc) Report. Running Out of Road suggested segregated cycle routes within and out of Oxford to help deliver safer cycling. Edgars are representing Bikesafe, which has been working for several years to promote a safe cycle route from Oxford to Eynsham.
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Edgars are ambitious for our existing and future clients and monitor the latest developments in planning to identify the latest opportunities. We encourage you to be in touch to discuss the opportunities that we anticipate will emerge.
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