It has long been a pet theory of mine that the more important a planning related consultation is, the duller its title will be. This certainly appears to hold true with the "Starter Homes Regulations: Technical consultation" which opened last Thursday.
The consultation is seeking views on the Government's detailed proposals for the introduction of Starter Homes - a key plank of Housing & Planning Bill which is currently being considered in the House of Lords.
Some of the more interesting points to note include:
- requiring between 15% and 20% of the units in a scheme to be starter homes.
- limiting the obligation to provide starter homes to sites of 10 dwellings or more;
- allowing injured servicemen or the spouses of those who died in service to apply for starter homes regardless of age;
- preventing subletting within the first five years of ownership;
- tapering the level of discount at which a starter home must be sold on at - so that it cannot be sold for full market value for the first 8 years of ownership
- seeking views on appropriate exemptions or carve outs from the policy - for example for build to rent or student accommodation schemes.
The consultation is open until 18 May 2016 and the papers can be accessed here:
Other measures proposed in the consultation include: starter homes can only be resold to other first time buyers, at a discount, for 5 to 8 years after purchase; this is to ensure the homes benefit genuine first time buyers and to discourage speculative buying restrictions also on sub-letting so starter homes are not buy-to-let opportunities allowing joint purchasers where one partner is above 40 and one below to be eligible for a starter home Starter homes for heroes Also under the proposals injured military personnel and partners of those who lost their lives in service would be eligible for a starter home at any age, rather than see a cut off at age 40. The move will help this group who may otherwise face issues accessing the starter homes scheme.