Further details have emerged from the fine print of the Autumn Budget Statement, which Chancellor Jeremy Hunt, MP, announced on 22 November 2023, with positive news for the mortgage guarantee scheme, proptech and new housing developments.
The Scottish Government has laid out their Action Plan for delivering 11,000 affordable homes in remote, rural and island areas by 2032, a key part of their commitments under the Bute House Agreement. Minister for Housing, Paul McLennan, MSP, acknowledged the range of specific challenges for rural communities means there was no one-size-fits-all solution and called on partners to work jointly to bring about change.
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Propertymark welcomes plans to deliver 110,000 affordable homes by 2032, but questions how the Scottish National Party intend to deliver on this ambition.
The UK Government has revealed a list of 55 towns across the UK that will get a share of a £1.1 billion levelling up investment equating to a ten-year, £20 million endowment-style fund to be spent on reviving high streets and town centres or securing public safety, with local people given the power to decide how it’s spent.
Sir Keir Starmer MP stated that if Labour wins the next election, they will build a new Britain with 1.5 million new homes in the next five years plus extra powers for housing and local mayors.
In a speech designed to remind voters of her economic pedigree and credibility to manage the economy, Shadow Chancellor Rachel Reeves announced her intention to increase the Stamp Duty surcharge for overseas buyers.
In his keynote speech to the Conservative Party Conference delegates yesterday, 3 October 2023, Michael Gove MP focused more on UK Government achievements but failed to deliver anything new on housebuilding or the Renters’ Reform Bill.
Despite proposals from the party leadership to scrap national targets for housebuilding, members attending the party conference on 25 September 2023 voted to maintain a target of 380,000 homes a year.
The UK Government has proposed an amendment to the Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill to alter a legacy EU law that dictates local authorities must make developments ‘nutrient neutral’, effectively banning new houses unless a council has offsetting schemes in place.
In less than 20 years, one in four people will be over 65, and with no joined-up strategy in England to ensure there will be enough accessible housing, the UK Government has set up an Older People’s Housing Taskforce to examine the issues faced – particularly for lower and middle incomes, as well as the need for older people to move into more appropriate or specialist homes.
Supporting our call for a planning system that maximises delivery while maintaining proposals to meet community needs has been echoed by a Levelling Up, Housing and Communities Committee report.
Michael Gove MP, Secretary of State for Levelling Up outlined plans to unleash building on underused sites in high-demand regions, along with a new design code to improve the quality of new homes, with the UK Government committing to passing the Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill and updates to the National Planning Policy Framework later in 2023.
Showing support for National Empty Homes Week, which runs from 27 February to 5 March, Propertymark continues lobbying on the issue of restoring thousands of empty homes in the UK, with our campaign work contributing to the Welsh Government's National Empty Homes Grant Scheme announcement.
In 2021, it was estimated that there were over 1.1 million homes in England that had obtained planning permission but were waiting to be built. Propertymark believes that the planning system needs to be simplified to speed up housebuilding and boost supply.
Calls for a planning system that is community and environmentally led whilst supporting levelling up across the country were heard at Westminster Hall debate put forward by Bob Seely, the Member of Parliament for the Isle of Wight.