The government has announced huge planning reforms in an attempt to tackle the UK’s housing shortage by accelerating and streamlining its existing primitive planning process. The radical endeavour will speed up the delivery of new homes by inhibiting the ability of local councils to oppose housing developments.

Comparisons have been made between the UK and other European countries whose planning systems are seen to be much simpler and faster.

Communities Secretary, Robert Jenrick said the current system is a legacy from as far back as the 1940s and is “very slow by international standards”.

“It takes 7 years to agree local housing plans and 5 years to get a spade in the ground.” Said Jenrick.

The planning reforms were revealed in a government white paper titled “Planning For The Future” which was first published earlier this month on 6th August. The document outlines that all land in England will be designated as either, for growth, for renewal or for protection. Land that is labeled as ‘for growth’ will automatically have planning permission enabling builders to crack on without being at the mercy of local council approval.

Of course, with such radical changes to a system that has stood for over seven decades comes criticism, with many believing the reforms could bring rushed and erroneous planning procedures which could ultimately impact overall build quality.

However, Jenrick has given assurances that the reforms will maintain a sympathetic view on building projects, “we will cut red tape but not standards, placing higher regard on quality, design and the environment than ever before.”

There is no doubt that these are significant changes that could result in a major step toward getting Britain back building quickly and help make up for lost ground since lockdown brought the housing market to a standstill earlier this year.

Once the wheels are in motion we could see many new investment opportunities arising in a shorter space of time for UK peer-to-peer investors. Likewise, developers will certainly benefit from the accelerated process.

The government’s proposals will enable developers of property-backed peer-to-peer projects to save money too. The reforms include a measure to exempt small sites from payments towards local council infrastructure such as schools and affordable housing, which is one of the major costs faced by SME developers.

As residential property continues to be the driving force in property investment and the wider economy, The House Crowd is well placed within it. These reforms are essentially part of the Prime Minister’s commitment to “Build, Build. Build” and jump start the economy, and this can only be good for property-backed P2P lenders and investors.