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A new scheme offering 100,000 first time buyers in the UK new homes with a 20% discount has been announced by the Prime Minister as part of a major push to help people onto the housing ladder. Aspiring home owners will be asked to register their interest in buying via the Starter Home initiative from the start of next year, an initiative that has been brought forward by at least six months earlier than planned. There will be a change to the planning system to free under used or unviable brownfield land from planning costs and levies in return for a below market value sale price on the homes built on the site. Developers and councils are being asked to respond to the proposals to ensure the changes will unlock a range of sites across the country. Many of the country’s leading house builders and councils are already looking at sites that could be used for new homes. The 100,000 homes will be available to first time buyers under the age of 40 as part of the initiative and work on the first raft will start next year following a consultation period that is due to end on 09 February 2015. At the heart of the Starter Homes initiative is a change to the planning system. This will allow house builders to develop under-used or unviable brownfield land and free them from planning costs and levies. In return, they will be able to offer homes at a minimum 20% discount exclusively to first time buyers under the age of 40. Currently, builders can face an average bill of £15,000 per home in Section 106 affordable housing contributions and tariffs, often adding tens of thousands to the cost of a site. Under the proposals, developers offering Starter Homes would be exempt from those Section 106 charges and Community Infrastructure Levy charges. The homes could then not be re-sold at market value for a fixed period, making sure that the savings are passed onto homebuyers. Already leading house builders, including three of the nation’s largest and councils from up and down the country have pledged their support for the initiative, which will bring much needed homes onto sites that have previously been deemed unviable and are lying unused. More than 30 house builders have said that that they support the plans and would consider bringing forward land to develop the new, discounted houses, from next year. A new design panel, including world famous architects such as Sir Terry Farrell and Sir Quinlan Terry will be established to ensure that new homes are not only lower cost but also high quality and well designed, giving hardworking house buyers attractive homes that meet the demands of modern life. ‘Hard working young people want to plan for the future and enjoy the security of being able to own their own home. I want to help them do just that. Under this scheme, first-time buyers will… Continue reading →
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