BEHIND THE HOUSING HEADLINES

For all the excitement over the Government's announcements to Get Britain Building Again, very few of the measures announced have proceeded further than ministerial pronouncements. Nonetheless there have been interesting things happening which you would be forgiven for having missed:

  • The ability to extend the life of planning permissions has itself been given a new lease of life. This temporary measure only applied to permissions granted before 1 October 2009 but has now been extended to cover those granted before 1 October 2010. Given the standard 3 year lifespan, this change gives a second chance for many unimplemented permissions due to expire in the next 12 months.
  • Councils will also have to explain in their decision notices how they have worked proactively with applicants to find solutions to problems. If treated as more than a box-ticking exercise, this would give a real boost to the similar duty already contained in the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF).
  • The Community Right to Bid has also come into force. Holders of assets of value to the community may now find themselves having to give locals a chance to bid before they can sell.