Greengates Builders Merchants

Changes To Planning

Developers could get automatic planning permission to build on disused industrial sites in England.

Ministers would also get powers to seize disused land, while major housing projects could be fast-tracked.

It came as official figures showed new house building fell by 5.8% in May, the sharpest decline in nearly four years.

Treasury sources say workers are more productive when they live closer to their place of work.

Analysts have questioned whether there is enough brownfield land - a term which refers to land that has previously been developed but is vacant or derelict - available to meet the UK's housing needs over the next 15 years.

Under the new proposals - which will need to be approved by MPs - automatic planning permission would be granted on all "suitable" brownfield sites under a new system.

Enhanced compulsory purchase powers will allow more brownfield land to be made available for development.

There would also be new sanctions for councils that do not deal with planning applications quickly enough, and the government would be able to intervene in councils' local development plans.

Local people will still have control over planning.

The point of this is to make sure we can build more homes, that local people are still rightly involved in those decisions and we find ways to speed it up the process.

“Anything which speeds up the planning application process has to be good” says Greengates Builders Merchants Accrington, Lancashire.

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