Accelerating Housing Delivery in the UK: A Strategic Plan for the Next Government

Reforming the Planning System

  • Implementing Permitted Development Rights: Simplifying the conversion of commercial spaces into residential properties and encouraging the development of modular homes using Modern Methods of Construction (MMC).
  • Boosting Planning Capacity: Increasing funding for local planning authorities to enhance their capacity to process applications efficiently. This includes a new £24 million Planning Skills Delivery Fund to clear backlogs​​.
  • Establishing Expert Teams: Creating Specialist teams of leading planners and experts to unblock major housing developments, ensuring that projects move from concept to construction without unnecessary delays​.

Promoting Partnerships

  • Encourage Joint Ventures: Facilitate partnerships between housing associations, local authorities, and private developers. These collaborations can pool resources and expertise, leading to more efficient project execution​​.
  • Support Forward-Funding Models: Promote forward-funding agreements that allow developers to secure financing for large-scale projects, ensuring steady cash flow and reducing financial risks​​.

Expanding Affordable Housing Programs

  • Increase Funding for Affordable Homes: Allocate substantial funds to affordable housing programs, ensuring that a significant portion is directed towards high-demand areas. This includes leveraging the Affordable Homes Programme to regenerate urban areas​​.
  • Utilise Public Land for Housing: Prioritize the use of publicly owned land for affordable housing projects, streamlining the transfer process to reduce delays​​.

Embracing Modern Methods of Construction (MMC)

  • Standardise MMC Designs: Encourage the use of standard MMC designs for social and affordable housing, which can be adapted to different sites and needs, ensuring consistency and efficiency​.
  • Invest in MMC Facilities: Support the establishment of MMC manufacturing facilities across the UK, providing upfront funding to set up production lines and reduce per-unit costs through economies of scale​.

Addressing Financial Barriers

  • Increase Planning Fees: Ensure planning departments are well-resourced by adjusting planning fees, based on a recent consultation, to reflect the true cost of processing applications​​.
  • Provide Working Capital Support: Offer financial support to MMC manufacturers to cover the upfront costs associated with production, ensuring financial stability and resilience​​.

Enhancing Infrastructure and Community Services

  • Invest in Transport and Utilities: Ensure new housing projects are complemented by investments in transport links, utilities, and community services, making new developments viable and attractive​​.
  • Focus on Sustainable Development: Prioritise environmentally sustainable projects, incorporating green technologies and practices to create resilient and future-proof housing​​.