Boris Johnson and some of his closest advisers have said that there will be a series of planning reforms to “turbocharge home building.” TFA takes a look at what some of these possible policies could include:

Devolution and Infrastructure Investment

Keen to secure the votes gained in the ‘Red Wall,’ the Government has committed to devolving further powers to the regions.

37% of residents in England and almost 50% in the North are already served by city region mayors with powers and money to prioritise local issues, including funding significant infrastructure projects, but smaller cities, towns and counties will now also be looked at as part of the New English Devolution White Paper.

The success of the Conservatives in the North in particular has meant that newly-elected Tory MPs in the north of England “have been given a hotline to a cabinet minister to help them deliver local spending projects for their constituents” as reported in the Daily Telegraph. Indeed, Jake Berry, the minister for the Northern Powerhouse, is charged with compiling requests for investment into infrastructure projects from northern Conservative MPs and tracking their delivery.

He is “already fielding requests for a relief road and local station capacity in Leigh, Greater Manchester, while a request has come to consider HS2 connectivity in Warrington, Cheshire”, the Telegraph adds.

A new £10 billion Single Housing Infrastructure Fund has also been announced and will provide funding for roads, schools and doctors surgeries to support the expansion of communities.

Planning reforms and the Green Belt

Conversely, a demographic the Conservative Party performed poorly with was the young.  In fact, data compiled by YouGov shows that if only 18-24 year olds were allowed to vote in the recent General Election then Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party would have won 544 out of 650 seats.

Amongst the Conservative Party’s traditional base, the Green Belt is held in almost mythical status but, at some point, the Conservative Party will need to reach younger voters. A generation unable to afford their own home will make reaching a younger audience next to impossible to do.

Ministers want to make “building on Green Belt areas where there are already developments, such as around railway stations” easier to do. They also would like to introduce rebates where “applicants will get their fees repaid in full if local authorities don’t meet tight deadlines”.

Another reform would be scrapping “a regulation that forces builders to apply for permission if they want to demolish a commercial property and replace it with homes.”

Other announcements include:

Price reduction for ‘key workers’ and local first-time buyers – local councils will be able to use housing developers’ contributions to discount homes by 30% for people who cannot otherwise afford to buy in their area.

Simplifying Shared Ownership – The Conservative Party manifesto committed to investigating how shared ownership can be simplified. The Government confirmed it will introduce a reformed model that will be more transparent, enabling buyers to progress to full ownership.

Banning of Leaseholds – New legislation will be introduced to ban new houses being sold on a leasehold basis and reducing ground rents for new leases to zero.