Landmark Housing and Planning Bill receives Royal Assent

New measures to help more people buy their own home and get houses built faster became law today (13 May 2016) as the Housing and Planning Act received Royal Assent.

The Act sets out a clear determination from the government to keep the country building while giving hard working families every opportunity to unlock the door to home ownership.

It will give housebuilders and decision-makers the tools and confidence to provide more homes and further streamline the planning system to accelerate their delivery.

The measures include underpinning the voluntary Right to Buy agreement with housing associations, supporting the doubling of the number of custom and self-build homes by 2020, tackling rogue landlords and speeding up the neighbourhood planning process.

Housing and Planning Minister Brandon Lewis said:

Our landmark Housing and Planning Act will help anyone who aspires to own their own home achieve their dream.

It will increase housing supply alongside home ownership building on the biggest affordable house building program since the 1970s.

The act will contribute to transforming generation rent into generation buy, helping us towards achieving our ambition of delivering 1 million new homes.

The Act will:

Help more people own their own home

  • help more people own their own home by extending Right to Buy level discounts to housing association tenants – measures underpinning the Voluntary Agreement with the National Housing Federation
  • place a duty on local planning authorities to actively promote the development of Starter Homes and embed them in the planning system


Get the nation building homes faster

  • unlock brownfield land to provide homes faster, requiring local authorities to prepare, maintain and publish local registers of specified land
  • support the doubling of the number of custom-built and self-built homes to 20,000 by 2020
  • ensure that every area has a local plan
  • reform the compulsory purchase process to make it clearer, fairer and faster
  • simplify and speed up neighbourhood planning


Ensure the way housing is managed is fair and fit for the future

  • require social tenants on higher incomes to pay fairer rents
  • place a duty on councils to consider selling their higher value housing assets when they fall vacant
  • tackle rogue landlords though a number of measures to give local authorities more powers
  • better local information on the private rented sector – allowing local authorities to access data held by the Tenancy Deposit Protection schemes
  • reduce the regulatory controls for private registered providers of housing to increase their freedoms to manage their housing stock efficiently and effectively
  • enable lead enforcement authority for estate agents


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