Queens speech 2021- Big changes to planning rules, a new Building Safety Regulator, ground rents, and the next steps for Renters Reform

Published: 20/05/2021

The UK Government announced their plans for the next parliamentary session in the Queen’s Speech today, 11 May, which includes several significant changes to planning rules, a new Building Safety Regulator, ground rents, and the next steps for Renters Reform.

End to ground rents confirmed
In today’s speech, there was the welcome confirmation of leasehold reform, which will put an end to ground rents as per the announcement from the Housing Secretary, Robert Jenrick, earlier in the year.

New Building Safety Regulator
As part of the Building Safety Bill, the UK Government intend to establish a new regulator for building safety along with substantial reforms to the building safety regime. A draft Building Safety Bill has already had pre-legislative scrutiny. It was included in the 2019 Queen's Speech and published in draft form last July.

Planning reform and homeownership
Another key announcement in today’s speech was a new Planning Bill, which aims to simplify and speed up the planning process while making it harder for homeowners to block new housing schemes.
With the recent repeated months of record-breaking activity, there is a severe lack of housing stock so simplifying the planning process and increasing the amount of house building will be a welcome answer to this growing problem, however, it must be used effectively at a local level.

Mark Hayward, Propertymark Chief Policy Advisor commented "A greater supply of homes will serve to correct the imbalance between supply and demand which has been intensified by the stamp duty holiday. The government has made a number of announcements in the past on simplifying the planning process, however, this will only work if it really reflects local needs and demands.
We hope the Planning Bill outlined today encourages the development of housing in more affordable areas, as at the moment, most of the development taking place is in areas that are unaffordable to first-time and lower-income buyers"

Follow this link for more information- www.homebuilding.co.uk/news/planning-reforms

Renters' Reform
Finally, there will be some developments in the coming months for reform in the private rented sector.
The UK Government’s consultation response on reforming tenancy law to abolish Section 21 will be published later this year, along with their proposals on the ‘lifetime’ tenancy deposit scheme. A White Paper detailing the whole reform package will be published in the Autumn with legislation following shortly after.