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One of the leading brokers of land in Surrey and Berkshire has welcomed today’s Government announcement that developers could get automatic planning permission to build on disused industrial sites in England.

The proposal has been put forward by Business Secretary Sajid Javid as part of a broader push to boost Britain's productivity, and has been billed by the Treasury as the second half of the Budget.

Adam Hesse, Director at Aston Mead Land & Planning said: “This move is good news for homeowners, good news for the housing industry and good news for Britain.

“Land which has previously been developed but is vacant or derelict is ripe for constructing some of the 240,000 homes a year this country so desperately needs. We’re currently building less than half of that figure – and if implemented, these latest proposals should go some way to addressing the chronic shortage of supply.”

If approved by MPs, ministers would also get powers to seize disused land, while major housing projects could be fast-tracked. There would also be sanctions for councils that do not deal with planning applications quickly enough, and the government would be able to intervene in councils' local development plans.

Adam Hesse added: “Scrapping Inheritance Tax for homes up to £1m in this week’s Budget ticked one of the boxes - and these proposals certainly tick a few more.

“But the Government shouldn’t stop there. The simple truth is that the 118,760 new homes built last year were just a fraction of those needed to meet demand. Much more needs to be done to allow developers to develop and builders to build.

“And if that means ‘grading’ the greenbelt, so less attractive parts of it can be built on as well, then that is something that certainly should be considered.”


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