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Councils told they must build more houses on brownfield sites

The Government has told councils in England that they must prioritise brownfield developments and be less bureaucratic and more flexible in applying policies that halt housebuilding on brownfield land.

The bar for refusing brownfield plans will also be made much higher for those big city councils that are failing to hit their locally agreed housebuilding targets. Planning authorities in England’s 20 largest cities and towns will be made to follow a ‘brownfield presumption’, if housebuilding drops below expected levels.

This will make it easier to get permission to build on previously developed brownfield sites.

The focus on brownfield land and urban development is part of the Government’s plan to take what it calls a common sense approach to delivering the housing that is needed, while protecting the countryside and Green Belt.

It’s hoped that the changes could lead to as many as 11,500 additional homes per year.

The Government has just completed a consultation on the proposals, and it’s hoped the changes will be implemented as quickly as possible.

In a separate move, legislation now going through Parliament will extend current permitted development rights, so that commercial buildings of any size can be converted into new homes.

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