The High Court judgment this month that quashed the government’s guidance exempting small developments from the requirement to provide affordable homes has been welcomed by local authorities as a boost to affordable housing provision (‘High Court overrules government on affordable housing for small sites’, 5.08.15, PropertyWeek.com).
But it could well have the opposite effect.
By overturning current policy, which removes the obligation on smaller developments to provide affordable housing and social infrastructure contributions, this judgment will most likely restrict the delivery of new homes.
Rather than being encouraged to help tackle the housing crisis, smaller developers are likely to be deterred by this latest ruling, which could put a halt to many projects and the delivery of vital new homes throughout the UK.
This is a clear blow for the government as it tries to increase the number of homes being built to address the housing crisis.
The government will also have to reassess the introduction of significant policy changes through the national guidelines, particularly when considering the long list of planning reforms, for this term, most recently heralded in the chancellor’s Budget speech.
Peter Dines, partner, Gerald Eve