Planning, Property Development and Brexit
As a Planning Solicitor it is no surprise to see house builders share prices falling and estate agents issuing profit warnings and phrases such as “disruption”, “taking stock”, “uncertainty” and “wait and see” which are not conducive to progress on the on-going continued delivery of new housing.
Take for example, the delivery of the new Starter Homes Scheme were although the Housing and Planning Act 2016 has been published the detailed guidance promised “genuinely very soon” in March 2016 has still not materialised and has effectively been on hold because of Brexit.
There will now follow a further period of uncertainty whilst a new Prime Minster is identified so in reality there will be even further delay in publishing detailed guidance.
The general view seems to be that the Government will still support building more homes but the delivery of the ambitious numbers must surely now be further in doubt.
I am working with a number of developers who are seriously re-considering whether to market their sites amid concerns of the value they will achieve on sale.
From my developer clients point of view there is clear question of confidence in the market place. From a developer’s perspective “sitting tight” and a “wait and see” approach will further reduce the chance of much needed houses being built.
There has been speculation that the number of new build sales will fall however it is hard to see how this can be assessed until the autumn and spring selling seasons have been completed.
If land owners do take the “wait and see” approach to seeking planning permission to build on agricultural land we may face a shortage of development sites coming forward which will of course have its own impact on land values.
I suspect there will be a need to make a decision on a site by site basis but predict that fewer houses will be built as a result of Brexit, certainly over the next two and a bit years.