Thursday, January 21, 2021
Real EstateUK

Decision to revise planning reforms in England welcomed

Midlands

A computer-based formula to decide on the location of residential properties has been updated to focus more on urban areas in northern areas and in the Midlands

The government’s decision to revise its planning reforms in England, following a backlash amongst many Conservative MPs, has been welcomed by Navana Property Group.

The head of the company, which invests in and manages property developments across the UK, has described the government’s U-turn as a positive one, particularly for northern cities which will now see more housing investment than originally planned.

A computer-based formula used to decide where residential properties should be located has been updated to focus more on cities and urban areas in northern areas and in the Midlands, away from rural and semi-rural communities in the South East.

But it is not yet clear what impact this will have on the government’s aim to build 300,000 new homes across England each year by the mid-2020s, including a sufficient number of affordable homes, given the limited supply of brownfield sites.

Harry Fenner, CEO of Navana Property Group, commented: This is certainly a positive U-turn from the government. The new formula will help to stimulate the urban residential sector. They have changed the planning emphasis away from more rural parts of the South East towards brownfield sites in the Midlands and the North. This will bring further investment into urban centres and help to level up the disparity between north and south. For northern cities in particular, which have historically lost out on funding compared to southern England, I’m sure this is welcome news indeed.

He added that the plans to invest in more family homes in cities, whilst making the most of vacant buildings and under-used land makes sense after the patterns we have witnessed this year. One of the consequences of the Covid pandemic was to speed up the decline of retail as people shop increasingly online. It also made cities and town centres quiet as people worked from home, leaving offices empty.

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