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Autumn Budget 2017: What to expect for planning and house-building

21 November 2017

It is understood that this week’s Autumn Budget is likely put house-building at the forefront, with the Chancellor Philip Hammond facing pressure from influential groups and individuals across the industry to provide financial backing for potential solutions to the housing crisis.

The Communities Secretary, Sajid Javid, is urging the Chancellor to allocate billions to building new houses, which are desperately needed. Javid has also made a plea to the Homes and Communities Agency to make more public land available for new homes, and to put more pressure on unjustifiable land banking.

Further pressure on Hammond has also come from the G15 group of large housing associations, who have urged the Chancellor to use the Budget to relax planning laws on their proposed “build up, not out” plan. The group is insisting that developers should be able to increase a building’s height so that it matches the tallest building in the area, or matches the height of surrounding trees.

Finally, there have been growing calls for the Government to drop borrowing rules for Local Authorities, allowing them greater flexibility to invest in new housing. In a letter to the Government, Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan and the heads of 21 London Boroughs urged the Chancellor to "support a new generation of council homebuilding, and allow us to build a city that works for all Londoners."

Planning Potential will of course be reviewing the Autumn Budget this week, to see how these items are addressed. Watch this space for updates.