Press release

Plan to boost British housebuilding, jobs and the economy

The Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister, alongside the Communities Secretary Eric Pickles, have set out a major housing and planning package.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Today the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister, alongside the Communities Secretary Eric Pickles, set out a major housing and planning package that will help deliver:

  • up to 70,000 new homes, including affordable housing and opportunities for first-time buyers to get onto the housing ladder
  • 140,000 jobs and a boost to the construction sector
  • £40 billion guarantee for major infrastructure projects and £10 billion for new homes

This includes a series of measures aimed at supporting businesses, developers and first-time buyers, while slashing unnecessary red tape across the planning system.

The measures include:

  • removing restrictions on house builders to help unlock 75,000 homes currently stalled due to sites being commercially unviable; developers who can prove that council’s costly affordable housing requirements make the project unviable will see them removed
  • new legislation for government guarantees of up to £40 billion worth of major infrastructure projects and up to £10 billion of new homes; the Infrastructure (Financial Assistance) Bill will include guaranteeing the debt of Housing Associations and private sector developers
  • up to 15,000 affordable homes and bring 5,000 empty homes back into use using new capital funding of £300 million and the infrastructure guarantee
  • an additional 5,000 homes built for rent at market rates in line with proposals outlined in Sir Adrian Montague’s report to government on boosting the private rented sector
  • thousands of big commercial and residential applications to be directed to a major infrastructure fast track and where councils are poor at processing decisions developers can opt to have their decision taken by the Planning Inspectorate; more applications also will go into a fast track appeal process
  • 16,500 first-time buyers helped with a £280 million extension of the successful ‘FirstBuy’ scheme, which offers aspiring homeowners a much-needed deposit and a crucial first step on the housing ladder
  • for a time limited period, slashing planning red tape, including sweeping away the rules and bureaucracy that prevent families and businesses from making improvements to their properties, helping tens of thousands of home owners and companies

The Prime Minister said:

The measures announced today show this government is serious about rolling its sleeves up and doing it all it can to kick-start the economy. Some of the proposals are controversial; others have been a long time in coming. But along with our Housing Strategy, they provide a comprehensive plan to unleash one of the biggest homebuilding programmes this country has seen in a generation. That means more investment around the county; more jobs for our people; and more young families able to realise their dreams and get on the housing ladder.

The Deputy Prime Minister said:

This is a coalition government, determined to get on with the job of delivering a healthier economy. Today’s major boost to housing and planning will make it easier to build a home, easier to buy a first home and easier to extend a home. A boost that will get Britain building again. Building thousands of affordable homes and generating thousands of new jobs.

Communities Secretary Eric Pickles said:

This government wants to get the economy growing. To remove unnecessary red tape. To support locally-led sustainable development.

Today we are announcing a further series of common sense measures to promote house building, speed up planning decisions and appeals, and major infrastructure.

These practical measures build on the housing, local government finance and planning reforms already in play. Delivering sustainable development and getting Britain building.

Published 6 September 2012