Property industry stakeholders have welcomed the Queen’s announcement of an upcoming planning bill.
The Queen’s Speech confirmed the bill, which is expected to be brought before Parliament in the autumn. It will put into force planning reforms proposed in a white paper in the summer when Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced his “build, build, build” plan for economic recovery.
The government is still analysing feedback received during the consultation, which include calls to streamline and modernise the planning system with a focus on design and suitability and ensuring more land is available for development where it is needed.
Mike Bristow, chief executive of peer-to-peer property lending platform CrowdProperty, which has just launched in Australia, said the reforms should make it easier to build more homes.
“We know from our research, planning regulation is one of the third biggest constraints to small- and medium-sized developers building more homes,” he said.
“The ongoing consultation and changes should bring down barriers of planning to unlock the potential for developers and that’s only going to be good for housebuilding and spending in the economy and if there are more developers out there looking to build more homes and realising alternative finance is a far better source of capital, such as CrowdProperty, it will drive our business.
“We’re gaining market share but if the overall market is growing as well it will definitely help our ongoing growth trajectory.”
Naveen Jaspal, chief operating officer of online estate agent Emoov, also welcomed the proposals and said they should speed up housebuilding.
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“The neighbourhood planning system in England will be a great thing for the property market,” he said.
“In order to build more housing, which as a country, we desperately need, it currently takes a long time, and a lot of that time is taken up by waiting for planning.
“In some areas, you can be waiting three to six months to hear back from planning councils as they are running so far behind on processing the applications. It will speed up the process which has been one of the biggest issues in the marketplace at the moment.
“I fully support the idea of the zoning systems as opposed to the slow case by case way it is done now. It will definitely be the way to move forward and a better way to invest in the infrastructure of communities.
“As long as it is administered in an effective way, it would really bring a lot of value to local communities, especially where there is space and need for housing.”