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Government aims to speed up housebuilding

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Housing and planning minister Brandon Lewis has unveiled new measures which could create a faster housebuilding process.

New proposals aim to see planning permission agreed quicker and include limiting the time given to section 106 negotiations. This adds conditions to any development but has been criticised for slowing down the building process.

Lewis also wants any discussions to take place early in the planning application process, rather than at the end where they can delay the start of work on site.

Standardised documents are also planned, something which will remove the need to draft planning applications from scratch for each new development.

Other proposals include dramatically cutting back the National Planning Policy Framework to 50 pages from its current length of more than 1,000 pages. New rules which make it easier to convert commercial property into residential have also been floated.

Lewis said while some protection must remain in place, his priority was to stimulate house building in the UK.

“Section 106 planning agreements can bring great benefits to local communities but too often they drag out planning applications for months,” he said.

“That’s why today I’m proposing measures that will speed up the process, get planning permissions granted quicker and workers on site earlier, all the while keeping the community benefits that these agreements can bring.”

The government consultation on these proposals is open until 19 March 2015.

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