Letwin Review promises quicker and greener new build for the UK high street


New planning guidance will be published for councils, to help them get the right homes finished on large sites more quickly. 

Sir Oliver Letwin’s review, published at Autumn Budget, concluded that greater diversity of homes on sites with more than 1,500 homes would increase build out rates. 

In response, the government will publish guidance for councils on building diverse range of homes on large sites. 

A new ‘Accelerated Planning Green Paper’ will also be published to accelerate the planning process for new homes – from when ideas are still on the architect’s drawing board and well before shovels hit the ground. 

Details of the new Green Paper will be published in due course. 

Permitted development rights and high streets 

New planning rules will be brought in so the owners of high street premises can change the way the buildings are used more easily. 

Our high streets are changing, and the government will bring in new rules to enable change of use from most retail uses to offices without planning permission. 

For example, shops could be turned into offices and takeaways could be turned into homes under the suite of changes being brought forward. 

As a result of the new permitted development rights, high street uses can change more quickly without going through a formal planning application process. By increasing the number of homes in and near town centres, adding footfall, which will help support shops and restaurants as trends in spending change. 

In addition, we will take forward a new right to allow buildings to extend upwards to create new homes, which respect the existing design of communities and the impact on neighbours. 

We will also make permanent the time-limited permitted development right to allow for larger rear extensions to homes. 

The new permitted development rights will be created as soon as parliamentary time allows. 

Government says future looks green for new build low carbon homes 

Last week’s Spring Statement confirmed that the Government is looking to ensure new build housing gets the green light when it comes to the environment. 

Chancellor Hammond announced that by 2025, a new initiative, ‘The Future Homes Standard’ will deliver new build homes that are greener with low carbon energy efficient heating and other environmentally friendly measures. 

Details of the new standard will be consulted on during 2019. 

Currently, the biggest contributing factor to the UK’s carbon footprint is down to emissions from heating our existing homes. 

This new scheme is intended to build future-proof homes in line with the mission to reduce by at least 50 per cent, the amount of energy used by new buildings by 2030 as part of the Prime Minister’s ‘Clean Growth Grand Challenge’ mission.   

The Government’s Clean Growth Challenge is pushing to improve the standard and safety of existing buildings to bring them into line with new build homes and reduce the cost of renovation to existing buildings by at least half.” 

Philip Hammond, Chancellor said: “We recognise that combating climate change requires the construction of new build homes to feature more sustainable and efficient ways of heating, alongside other energy saving measures. 

The Chancellor is committed to boosting the proportion of green gas in the grid by speeding up the decarbonisation of the UK’s gas supplies.  A Government consultation is due to take place later in 2019 to tackle the most effective way to reduce the country’s reliance on using natural gas to heat our homes. 

In the Spring Statement, Chancellor Hammond declared: “We have committed to adopting the Future Homes Standard by 2025, so new homes built are built with the latest green technology to drive down energy bills and reduce the impact on our precious environment. 

Letwin Review 

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Letwin Review promises quicker and greener new build for the UK high street


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