New powers for councils to deliver homes for local families

Councils will receive new powers to help them deliver the homes their communities need

new housing

Councils will receive new powers to help them deliver the homes their communities need under proposed regulations published today (4 June 2018) by Housing Minister Dominic Raab MP.

Under new rules, councils will be able to seek government’s approval to launch a New Town Development Corporation, which will be responsible for delivering new towns and garden communities in their area.

The new bodies themselves will be responsible for master planning and project development, bringing on board private investment, partnering with developers and overseeing the completion of a new town or garden village with each expected to deliver tens of thousands of new homes.

Held accountable by councils, the development corporations will be expected to involve communities in their projects, which includes allowing residents to have their say on how high-quality homes are delivered.

Subject to the normal planning requirements, including safeguards that protect the Green Belt, the corporations will be led by teams made up of council representatives, community stakeholders, experts in delivering major projects and other partner organisations involved in the delivery of sites.

This measure is part of the government’s wide-ranging programme of planning reform and targeted funding to deliver 300,000 homes a year by the mid-2020s.

Housing Minister Dominic Raab MP said:

"We need to build the homes our communities need and I’m committed to giving councils the tools they need to deliver.

"That’s why we’re giving councils the option of applying to establish development corporations. These will be locally accountable and must listen to the views of the community to ensure that the right homes are built in the right places."

Previously, all New Town Development Corporations created by the Secretary of State remained accountable to the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government.

Housing Minister Dominic Raab MP will today introduce the regulations to Parliament, which are subject to further debate by MPs and will come into force later this year once approved by Parliament.

Further information

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government has also released a summary document to its recent consultation on the new town regulations.

A limited number of functions will remain with the Secretary of State. For example, it will remain the Secretary of State who confirms compulsory purchase orders.

The new development corporations set up after the regulations come into force will operate in a similar way to the new town development corporations that delivered the post-war new towns such as Milton Keynes. As with traditional new town development corporations, these locally-led bodies will be able to draft “proposals” for the new town which the oversight authority can approve.

The government is preparing to launch its new National Planning Policy Framework later this summer, which will streamline the system and allow the delivery of the homes this country needs.

The powers to create New Town Development Corporations accountable to the Secretary of State remain on the statute book.