New Government Scheme To Create 260,000 New Homes
A new UK Government proposed scheme to allow developers to convert unused offices into new homes is being welcomed. The plans being considered by the Government could help to provide over 260,000 new homes across the UK over the next ten years to ease the current housing shortage and to boost the supply of much need new housing.
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April 12, 2011 (FPRC) -- The new initiative was announced last week by Eric Pickles, the Communities Secretary. The supply of new homes in the UK has come under severe pressure, combined with the economic uncertainty and the lowest levels of house building for over 60 years.
This is partly due to complex and bureaucratic planning laws and systems that cause commercial premises to be left vacant. The current planning system means that planning approval needs to given to convert the use of commercial properties into residential properties.
The new scheme would allow the conversions and development of office buildings and business premises that have been left empty without planning approvals. It is also estimated that around £140M could be saved by reducing bureaucracy levels within the planning systems.
The scheme could boost 33,112 homes in the South East, including new homes in Kent and new homes in Essex. In the South West there would be an additional 14,683 new properties provided, including new homes in Bristol. In the North West 45,532 new properties and in the North East 11,191 new properties would be provided. In the West Midlands 29,792 new properties including new homes in Birmingham would be supplied. In London, as many as 39,112 new homes could be provided with the change of use from commercial space to residential homes.
The British Property Federation (BPF) has backed the plans, but warned they will not work in every location and with every commercial property. However they welcomed the idea and agreed it would help those who need homes, the wider communities around vacant commercial space and the council tax revenue that new homeowners would generate for their local councils.
Notes to Editors:
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