Grand Union’s response to planning consultations

This summer the Government launched two planning consultations that could have a significant impact on the number of affordable homes we build – the white paper “planning for the future” and a second consultation outlining shorter term changes to the planning system. After reviewing the planning white paper and other shorter-term proposals, we have today submitted Grand Union’s response to the second document, “changes to the current planning system”. We welcome the ambitions to improve the current planning system by making it simpler and more accessible. However, there are several areas which cause us concern. We work in an area where there is significant and growing housing need, and a strong requirement for new homes that are truly affordable to those earning at or below average local incomes. We’ve put a short document together that highlights the evidence for our key concerns, which are that the proposals: • will reduce the delivery of affordable housing • will increase barriers to home ownership • will have a negative impact on site viability • will not benefit small or medium sized developers We’re calling for the current planning system to maintain or increase affordable housing delivery across our region, which we believe requires the following key changes: • Retain current Section 106 affordable housing thresholds • Ensure the standard method results in no change, or an increase in delivery numbers required for each local authority area • First Homes should not replace ‘traditional’ affordable tenures • Entry level and First Homes sites should both be available and delivered in line with local needs You can read our full response here.