Housing zones: can they fast-track housing schemes?
In his Mansion House speech on 12 June 2014, the chancellor of the Exchequer announced that the government would be ‘removing all obstacles that remain to development on brownfield sites’ and that the government would be ‘putting local development orders on more than 90 per cent of brownfield sites that are suitable for housing’.
As part of this initiative, a prospectus has now been published by the Mayor of London (MoL) in relation to the establishment of 20 housing zones (HZs) across London. Central government will also be creating 10 HZs outside London. We set out the key features of the HZ proposals below.
HZs were first mooted in the draft housing strategy published by the MoL last November. HZs will be areas where house building will be accelerated by a variety of funding and policy levers. The primary aim of an HZ will be the maximisation of new housing supply. HZs will be given a tailored combination of planning and financial tools to kick start housing development within the HZ. Each HZ will be expected to deliver at least 1,000 new homes and will have a lifespan of up to 10 years. Overall, the MoL expects the 20 HZs to deliver more than 50,000 homes…
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