Construction & Property


Exciting news for the construction industry.

Last week Housing Secretary Michael Gove announced the opening of a consultation on plans to boost brownfield building in 20 of the UKs largest cities.

This new proposal is supposed to make it easier to get planning permission from local authorities where they are not reaching government housing targets. The government originally set a 300,000-a-year target and that has been downgraded to an advisory, over the last 10 years they have only managed around 200,000 pa on average.

These new plans would allow the conversion of commercial buildings into residential without planning permission and also the removal of restrictions for new extensions or loft conversions.

This is likely this be a hot topic in the run-up to the general election with the Labour Party already announcing it will reinstate the 300,000 housing target as mandatory and is promising changing to the planning regulations.

Industry commentators are calling for more action, saying these changes could be too little too late, but as far as the construction industry is concerned, any help to open up brownfield sites will help boost building numbers.

Research carried out by British Land, Landsec and The Berkley Group revealed that Brownfield urban regeneration leads to significant economic growth and housing opportunities, reported in October 2023 releasing these sites could lead to over 500,000 new homes by 2035 and an estimated additional 1.1m new job opportunities in office, industrial and logistics.

The release of Brownfield sites isn’t new, but this campaign should accelerate the application process and kick start land release but also make it easier for home owners and smaller builders to  extend and go into the loft space.

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