Private rented sector could get special treatment on planning

Private rented sector could get special treatment on planning

Researching the property investment sector Fossey Taylor has found that private rented sector developments could receive reduced planning levies if government proposals go ahead. A proposed amendment to current planning guidance would see PRS treated differently from other housing tenures on the grounds that it has a different business model, and receive favourable planning terms as a result.The change is part of the government’s drive to consolidate and update planning policy through a new, purpose-built website.

The amended text currently reads: “In respect of large scale private rented sector housing, viability considerations in decision-taking should take account of the economics of such schemes, which will differ from build for sale. This may require a different approach to planning obligations or an adjustment of policy requirements.”

Various Senior figures have urged the property industry to back the move and respond to the government’s call for feedback on the new guidance by 9 October to push the amendment through. Nick Jopling, executive director at Grainger, said: “There are many local authorities who already grasp the very different business model that build-to-rent presents and who treat it accordingly. But more certainty across the board and up front recognition that build-to-rent is different from build-to-sell will help reduce one of the key barriers to delivery.”

Marnix Elsenaar, head of planning at law firm Addleshaw Goddard, said: “Recognition that PRS is different from build-to-sell is essential. One is an income-producing asset, the other is simply a transaction enabling the realising of increased land value. It is essential the property industry gets behind this changes and helps cement more certainty for delivering homes to rent at a time where PRS is the UK’s fastest growing housing tenure.”