In the 2017 Budget, the government set out a raft of new policies which aimed to raise housing supply by the end of this Parliament to 300,000 a year.
The Spring Statement set out further plans to deliver on this promise and to stimulate the economy by encouraging the construction of new properties and the conversion of existing properties for new uses. This includes:
- a £3 billion Affordable Homes Guarantee scheme. This will guarantee up to £3 billion of borrowing by housing associations and is expected to deliver 30,000 new affordable homes
- £717 million from the £5.5 billion Housing Infrastructure Fund to build 37,000 homes at sites including Old Oak Common in London, the Oxford-Cambridge Arc and Cheshire
- the introduction of additional planning guidance to support housing diversification on large sites. This follows Sir Oliver Letwin's final report, which concluded that greater differentiation in the types and tenures of housing delivered on large sites would increase build out rates
- the introduction of a package of reforms to encourage building, including allowing greater change of use between premises, and a new permitted development rights to allow upwards extension of existing buildings
- consultation on the new Structures and Buildings Allowance. This aims to support business investment in constructing or converting properties for qualifying activities – essentially commercial property lettings. Relief will be given on eligible construction costs incurred on or after 29 October 2018. Relief will be given at a flat rate of two percent over a 50-year period regardless of changes in ownership. The consultation is open until 24 April and the government's response will be published in May 2019
For specialist, focused and practical real estate and commercial property law advice, please contact Steven McGuigan on 0117 314 5442, or complete the form below.