Planning specialist Paul Barton said plans unveiled in the Queen’s Speech could see almost all the UK’s remaining brownfield land built on by 2020.
He said: “The Government has pledged to deliver 200,000 starter homes during the course of the next Parliament. The Housing Bill announced in the Queen’s Speech would provide a 20 per cent discount to first time buyers under 40 – triggering a nationwide building programme which would see 90 per cent of suitable brownfield sites built on by 2020.
“We would applaud this measure as Bruton Knowles has been lobbying for years to ensure that all suitable brownfield sites in and around our major cities are fully regenerated, reducing the requirement for green field sites to be earmarked for housing.”
Paul said South West cities such as Bristol, Gloucester and Exeter possessing significant reserves of Brownfield land could be among the first locations to benefit from the new programme.
He went on: “The starter homes legislation will build on the existing NPPG advice published earlier in the year to allow homes as an exception on unviable or underused industrial land.”
He said the Housing Bill would provide a register of brownfield land with the intention of accelerating the construction of new homes on previously developed and under utilised sites.
Measures were also outlined to simplify and speed up neighbourhood planning procedures.
“The new bill aims to encourage self-build projects under the Right to Build initiative - giving people the right to be allocated land with planning permission by their local authority to build a home on.”
The Housing Bill will also oblige housing associations to allow tenants the opportunity to purchase their homes – extending the right to buy to some 1.3m housing association tenants.
Paul Barton concluded: “We are on record as supporting any and all legislation which accelerates home building and wider home ownership – especially if we can meet this need without increasing demand on our countryside.
“The new Housing Bill announced in the Queen’s Speech can’t come too soon for the thousands of people yet to take their first steps on the property ladder.”