Starter Homes could be built on green belt, DCLG suggests

8 Dec 15

The Department for Communities and Local Government has proposed relaxing planning rules to allow for ‘Starter Homes’ to be built on greenbelt land.

Starter Homes are new homes intended to be sold at 20% discounts to first time buyers and a number of planning changes are being put forward to facilitate construction.

A consultation document published yesterday said current national planning policy considers limited affordable housing for local community as “not inappropriate” in the green belt, where this is consistent with policies in the Local Plan”.

This does not give express support to neighbourhood plans that seek to allocate land in the green belt to meet housing need, where this is supported by the local community, the document concluded.

“We consider that the current policy can hinder locally led housing development and propose to amend national planning policy so that neighbourhood plans can allocate appropriate small-scale sites in the green belt specifically for starter homes, with neighbourhood areas having the discretion to determine the scope of a small-scale site.”

Such a switch would support local areas in giving affordable home ownership opportunities to young people and young families, it stated.

Other planning changes intended to boost the creation of the Starter Homes include changing the definition of affordable homes in section 106 planning agreements to include homes for purchase. Ministers have said that they want to build around 200,000 starter homes.

The consultation runs until 25 January.

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