Mike Brogan 06 November 2015

Cameron’s 106 reform: What it means for local authorities

There was a lot of anticipation around this years’ Conservative party conference, especially about what would be said and the possible outcomes for local authorities in terms of housing.

Looking back on what was said, I have to admit that I am struggling to see how the announced plans to reform Section 106 of the National Planning Policy Framework can turn the UK’s 'generation rent' into 'generation buy'.

Previously, 106 meant that developers were required to ensure a certain amount of their housing stock was reserved for social rent. Construction companies weren’t too keen on this, as some believed that social properties devalued their other homes. To combat this, a financial incentive for local authorities to opt out of 106 was provided, which was acceptable as it was understood that the money would be used to develop social stock elsewhere.

The revision to section 106 means that developers no longer have to offer properties for social rent; instead they will be able to provide starter homes for first time buyers, who are under 40, at a discounted price.

On the face of it, this amendment to 106 is intended to assist the Government meet its campaign pledge of creating 200,000 homes by the end of this parliament, by providing new homes that people currently in social housing could buy, thereby creating vacancies in existing social housing stock.

While this may sound like a cunning plan, if these intended purchasers cannot afford the prices of the discounted homes, and I suspect that may be the case, then it may not be quite as clever as it seems.

Aside from the reform of 106, which is important, the real issue is still not being addressed by the change. That is, until enough houses have been built, and at a price that ordinary hard working people can afford, the current problems will persist and we will still have oversubscribed social housing due to a deficit of owner occupier opportunities.

The current model for building social housing isn’t working, something that has been accepted by Government. However, if developers will not develop then Government will find another way to reduce the deficit.

Mike Brogan is chief executive at Procure Plus

SIGN UP
For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Payroll Administrator

Northumberland County Council
£20,444 - £22,129
Northumberland County Council operates a huge range of services across one of the largest counties in the UK. Northumberland
Recuriter: Northumberland County Council

Specialist Advisory Teacher - Developmental Language Disorder

Cumbria County Council
Teachers Pay and Conditions
An exciting opportunity has arisen for a new colleague, who is a qualified teacher, with expertise and experience of developmental language delay. Penrith, Cumbria
Recuriter: Cumbria County Council

ASYE Occupational Therapist - Long Term Intervention Team Kendal

Cumbria County Council
£28,226 – £29,174
We are looking for newly qualified Occupational Therapy professionals, who are passionate about their vocation and would like to join our team. Cumbria
Recuriter: Cumbria County Council

Social Worker - Long Term Intervention Team

Cumbria County Council
£31,895 – £32,798
Following an exciting and ambitious programme of change within Adult Social Care. Cumbria
Recuriter: Cumbria County Council

Strategic Communications Executive

Lancashire County Council
£30,095-£34,373
Do you believe in the power of communications to bring about change? Preston, Lancashire
Recuriter: Lancashire County Council

Partner Content

Circular highways is a necessity not an aspiration – and it’s within our grasp

Shell is helping power the journey towards a circular paving industry with Shell Bitumen LT R, a new product for roads that uses plastics destined for landfill as part of the additives to make the bitumen.

Support from Effective Energy Group for Local Authorities to Deliver £430m Sustainable Warmth Funded Energy Efficiency Projects

Effective Energy Group is now offering its support to the 40 Local Authorities who have received a share of the £430m to deliver their projects on the ground by surveying properties and installing measures.

Pay.UK – the next step in Bacs’ evolution

Dougie Belmore explains how one of the main interfaces between you and Bacs is about to change.