Government drops proposal to raise affordable housing threshold…

Following a consultation on changes to the current planning system, the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) have stated that lifting the small sites threshold for affordable housing provision will not be necessary at this stage. The measure was proposed during the coronavirus crisis and would have temporarily lifted the threshold to 40- 50 homes to support SME Housebuilders, but due to the industry’s robustness during the challenging time there are no plans to raise the small sites threshold.

At present a site of ten or more houses is considered a ‘major development’ and would be subject to affordable housing provisions.

The market will be continuously monitored by the MHCLG to ensure that SME builders are given the support they need during difficult times.

MHCLG said: “The government consulted on raising the small sites threshold in order to assess if it was necessary in the economic circumstances to provide additional support to SME builders.

We have carefully considered the consultation feedback and the situation in the housing market. On balance, we do not consider this measure to be necessary at this stage, particularly in light of the broader way in which the sector has responded to the challenges of the pandemic and the other measures we have available to support SMEs.

We therefore do not think any change to existing policy is currently needed.”