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As Advantage has its headquarters in the North West, as well as offices in the Midlands and London, and provides structural warranties for clients nationwide, the team takes a keen interest in property and construction news affecting all regions.

Today we read that the Queen’s Speech will reportedly include a new planning bill aimed at boosting home ownership across the north and the Midlands.

According to The Times, the planning bill is aimed at expanding the rates of home ownership across small cities and towns in areas which have historically voted Labour.

The creation of ‘growth’ or ‘protection’ zones

officeThe reforms are said to simplify the planning process to make it more difficult for existing homeowners to block new housing schemes, with the country to be divided into ‘growth’ or ‘protection’ zones.

It is believed automatic planning approval will be given to homes, hospitals, schools, shops and offices in growth areas, while development in protected areas will be restricted but not ruled out.

The Times also reported the Government is set to trial a “first homes scheme” in the former Labour bastion of Bolsover, Derbyshire, which will give discounts of at least 30 per cent to first-time buyers in their local area.

Previous planning changes

Last July, Advantage wrote about new planning rules introduced by the government which include a fast-track approval process to extend homes upwards.

Also, under the new rules, full planning applications will not be required to demolish and rebuild unused buildings as homes.

Advantage’s view: Although boosting opportunities for home ownership is certainly a vote winner, the issue of how and where those new homes are created is potentially far more divisive, with some of the government’s previous attempts to overhaul the planning system proving highly controversial. Although we’ve yet to see any details of the new planning bill, we suspect that potentially offering automatic planning permission in designated ‘growth’ areas will not prove universally popular. Last year, we wrote that RIBA, among other powerful voices within the sector, will continue to remind the government that building for the future is not just about building more, but about building better. And we believe that in 2021 construction leaders will continue to call for a twin focus on volume and quality.

Whether you’re a social and affordable housing specialist or a commercial developer or you’re planning to build or convert your dream home, Advantage can provide structural warranties for projects ranging from multi-million pound developments to individual self-builds. If you would like more information, please call: 0845 900 3969, email: sales@ahci.co.uk or pay a visit to our homepage: https://ahci.co.uk/