Queen’s Speech 2021: Planning laws face reform in home ownership push

Queen’s Speech 2021: Planning laws face reform in home ownership push
Credit: Jason Alden/Bloomberg

The government is to “modernise” the planning system in order to help more people own their own home.

According to the Queen’s Speech delivered today (May 11), laws to modernise the planning system so that more homes can be built will be brought forward.

In a policy paper published after the speech, the government noted the planning bill would aim to “create a simpler, faster and more modern planning system to replace the current one that dates back to 1947, and [ensure] we no longer remain tied to procedures designed for the last century”.

Lea Karasavvas, managing director at Prolific Mortgage Finance, said there was "huge" demand in the housing market.

Karasavvas said: “What has become abundantly clear since the stamp duty holiday extension is that the demand is there.

“You only need to look at the recent levels of mortgage submissions and ‘best and final offers’ on properties receiving multiple offers, to realise there is a huge demand for housing at present.”

He warned that house price inflation would continue to rise “exponentially” until the issue of supply can be addressed.

Likewise Anthony Rose, director at LDNfinance, said positive changes to planning laws would be “strongly welcomed”.

Rose said: “The shortage of affordable housing in the UK will only be resolved by building the right types of properties in the locations they are needed and that cannot happen under the current planning system.”

Carl Shave, director at Just Mortgage Brokers, added: “The laws to modernise the planning system to encourage house building growth ... will be welcomed, and follows the recent announcement of the beginnings of the Help to Build scheme with funding of £150m.”

The government announced a ‘Help to Build’ scheme last month, in a bid to make it easier and more affordable for people to build their own home.

In March it also announced new rules allowing commercial premises to be converted into homes as the government looks to “revitalise” high streets and town centres in England.

According to today's speech, the government also plans to ‘enhance’ the rights of those who rent, including requiring all private landlords to belong to a redress scheme, to drive up standards in the private rented sector and ensure that all tenants have a right to redress. 

Dominik Lipnicki, director at Your Mortgage Decisions, commented: “We need to see change in the rental market with many tenants, as well as landlords, preferring a longer term rental agreement, giving stability to all sides.”

But Chris Sykes, associate director and mortgage consultant at Private Finance, said tenant-related measures could be the “last straw” for landlords.

Sykes said: “Taxation changes over the last few years have significantly reduced the profitability of rental property for many landlords. If there are greater restrictions put in, it could be the last straw.”

In the speech, the government also confirmed measures to end the practice of ground rents for new leasehold properties.