Spring Statement 2019 – housing and infrastructure

Posted on: March 18th, 2019

Eve Laws, Associate Solicitor in the Commercial Property team, summarises the announcements made in the Spring Statement regarding housing and infrastructure.

The Chancellor delivered his Spring Statement on 13 March 2019. Alongside a £4million investment in Portsmouth and £5.7million in Southampton, the Chancellor announced funding commitments to support the delivery of affordable homes by housing associations nationally.

He also reiterated the government’s commitment to publish a National Infrastructure Strategy (the first of its kind) which will set out the infrastructure priorities and respond to recommendations in the National Infrastructure Commission’s National Infrastructure Assessment.

In the coming months the government also intends to introduce new planning guidance to support housing diversification on large sites. This was in response to last year’s publication of the Letwin review, which concluded that greater differentiation in the types and tenures of housing on large sites would increase build out rates.

The Spring Statement also revealed plans to introduce a package of planning reforms to allow greater changes of use between premises, and a new permitted development right to allow upwards extension of existing buildings to create new homes.

Finally, the government also announced its intention to publish a Green Paper with proposals on how greater capacity and capability, performance management and procedural improvements can accelerate the end-to-end planning process.

In the Autumn Budget 2017, the government set out a number of comprehensive new policies to increase housing supply to its highest level since 1970, by the end of this Parliament. This put things on track to reach an average of 300,000 per year. The Spring Statement included the next steps to ensure the government can deliver on its ambitions and highlight the further progress that has been made.

You can read the full Spring Statement here.

For more information on how the Spring Statement could affect you or your business, please contact a member of our Commercial Property team.