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DCLG launches four-point objective plan

Words: Laura Edgar
Planning / iStock_000035898050

The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) has launched its objectives for 2015 to 2020, which includes measures to drive up housing supply and devolve powers to boost local growth.

The document, which includes the proposals announced during the last year, lays outs a £4.6 billion total departmental expenditure limit (DEL) for the financial year 2015 to 2016. This includes £1.5 billion resource DEL and £3.1 billion capital DEL. The total expenditure for local government in financial year 2015 to 2016 is noted as £40.3 billion.

The DCLG says its vision is to increase housing supply to make it easier for the “86 per cent of people” who say they want to own their own homes achieve that. In addition, the department want to shift power from central to local government.

The DCLG’s first objective is to drive up housing supply and deliver one million new homes over the next five years. To achieve this, it says it will do a number of things, including:

  • Ensure that local plans are prepared and action is taken when there is a significant shortfall for the homes provided for in the plans and the houses being built;

  • Provide £8 billion to deliver more than 400,000 affordable housing starts by 2020 to 2021, including £1.2 billion to unlock at least 30,000 starter homes on brownfield land;

  • Require local authorities to hold a register of available brownfield land;

  • Ensure that 90 per cent of suitable sites have planning permission for housing by 2020;

  • Protect the green belt; and

  • Provide £290 million for estate regeneration schemes.

To increase home ownership, the DCLG said it will deliver 400,000 affordable housing start by 2020 to 2021, with a focus on low-cost home ownership. This includes 200,000 starter homes.

Additionally, the DCLG says it will implement the Right to Buy voluntary agreement with housing associations and the National Housing Federation, extend the Help to Buy equity loan scheme, and create a London Help to Buy scheme.

The plan also outlines what the department aims to do to boost local growth in England. This includes building on the devolution deal with Greater Manchester by devolving powers to other cities outside of London as well as building on the deal agreed with Cornwall by agreeing devolution deals with counties and non-metropolitan areas.

The fourth part of the plan is to support strong communities with excellent public services. This includes introducing flexibilities that aim to encourage local authorities to dispose of surplus assets and invest in services. Communities, according to the plan, will be strengthened by giving local people more say on local planning and making sure they know up front that infrastructure such as roads will be provided when new homes are granted planning permissions.

The full plan can be found here.

Image credit | iStock