Developers welcome Government pledge to help first-time buyers
DEVELOPERS in Gloucester have welcomed a Government pledge to revive the economy by easing planning restrictions and helping more first-time buyers.
David Cameron yesterday announced a further 16,500 first-time buyers will receive help getting on the housing ladder under an extension of the FirstBuy scheme.
And new legislation will provide Government guarantees of up to £40billion of major infrastructure projects and up to £10billion of new homes, including a move to guarantee the debt of housing associations and private sector developers.
Richard Goad, of Taylor Wimpey, which has new homes in Gloucester, said: "It is welcome news, particularly the extension to the FirstBuy scheme.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Sunday, May 26 2013
"FirstBuy enables us to work closely with the Government to help more people in the region buy their first home."
Potential home-owners without a deposit are given an equity loan of up to 20 per cent of the purchase price. Taylor Wimpey has seen a quarter of this year's sales go through due to it.
Ministers have also decided that developers will no longer have to wait five years to apply to change affordable housing requirements if they are making sites "commercially unviable".
Jeremy Drew, of Gloucestershire-based Newland Homes, said the announcement was "helpful".
He said: "Housing development in particular can be a main driver for positive growth."
"Politicians in particular need to step up and acknowledge this rather than burying their heads and waiting for appeal inspectors to make decisions for them. This slows the process down."
Mr Cameron said he would get the planning system "off people's backs" and revive the economy by easing restrictions for homes and businesses.
Tens of thousands of families will be allowed to extend their properties by up to eight metres without gaining full permission, and rules on shops and offices expanding will be loosened, he said.
He added the package of measures would mean an extra 70,000 houses and 140,000 jobs.
However, Labour leader Ed Miliband said he feared today's announcements would not have "the success the Government is hoping".
A spokesman for Gloucester City Council said officers had "noted the changes with interest", adding that "Gloucester already takes a pragmatic approach and works with developers where there are viability issues.
"Officers will again look closely at the details of the proposals and advise councillors accordingly."