Along with everyone else, the planning sector could be in for a significant shake up over the coming years.
Given the recent changes to reduce bureaucracy within the planning system, with policy introductions like Permission in Principle from the Housing and Planning Act 2016, Brexit could bring a reduction in red tape behind planning applications as a majority of our laws are intertwined with European law, particularly concerning environmental considerations. Environmental Impact Assessments are one example and removing this hurdle and expense from the planning system could be a welcome change.
However, many were of the opinion that us leaving the EU will result in a fall in house building, especially in the short term, given the perceived drop in house prices, a potential rise in costs of building materials and an end to the flow of foreign workers putting a halt to construction. A poll undertaken by Property Week found that around two thirds of property professionals wanted to remain in the EU.
As the result was called early this morning, figure heads of the industry have warned caution but also highlighted the need to continue the delivery of new homes:
“For the real estate industry, key concerns are going to be the construction sector, which is likely to be affected by changes made to the free movement of people and its impact on the skills gap, and how trade and investment might be affected
“After decades of undersupply we face an acute housing crisis and demand for new homes will remain high. We will continue working with government and others to ensure we can deliver the number of homes the country needs in the coming years.”
David Orr, Chief Executive at the National Housing Federation said, “We recognise the uncertainty that this result will bring to the sector…Whatever happens there is still a housing crisis and we remain committed to ending it.”
Sadiq Khan has said this morning businesses and investors should not panic and that London should continue to grow outside the EU, although the single market would be a key feature.
Overall, the uncertainty for the development industry is still ongoing, however the reassurance from figures such as Khan and Mark Carney show that the money is there to continue to back growth within the UK.
Remaining part of the single market seems to be the best solution, and given the reluctance by Michael Gove and Boris Johnson to enact Article 50 any time soon, it remains to be seen whether the dust settles before any large shifts in 2017/2018.