The Government is consulting on a proposal to build 100,000 discounted new homes for young first-time buyers over the next five years on previously unused brownfield sites.
The “starter homes” initiative seeks to boost new-build construction by reforming planning rules and allowing housing construction to take place on brownfield land that is currently allocated, under the existing planning framework, for industrial and commercial use.
In its consultation, the Government says: “Land which is currently allocated for commercial or industrial use could be released for starter homes under this policy.
“This land by definition will not already be allocated for housing and is most likely to be of relatively low value and under-utilised, although with only limited remediation and infrastructure costs, to ensure starter home schemes are financially viable.”
As part of the initiative, the Government will not require developers to pay the section 106 community infrastructure levy, which is designed to help pay for infrastructure needed to support new developments in local areas.
The Government says starter homes, which will be sold for at least 20 per cent below market value, will only be available to first-time buyers under the age of 40. Buyers will be prevented from selling the homes on for a set period of time after purchase.
The consultation, launched today, will close on 9 February.
Secretary of state for communities and local government Eric Pickles says: “Our ambition is for 100,000 new starter homes to be built across England through this initiative over the next five years.
“We want to work with developers, local authorities, and land owners to ensure the first starter homes are delivered quickly and to a high quality that meets the aspirations of today’s first-time buyers.”
Council of Mortgage Lenders director-general Paul Smee says: “Mortgage lenders support measures that deliver affordable ways for people to access home-ownership. This new scheme should provide a modest additional flow of lower-cost housing for first-time buyers, which we welcome.
“Lenders will need to consider whether there are any specific lending risks involved, and we will respond to the consultation to help ensure that the scheme is practical and workable from a lending perspective. Once it is up and running, we will help signpost first-time buyers to government website information about the scheme.”