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Detail of Starter Homes Proposals out for Consultation

It has long been a pet theory of mine that the more important a planning related consultation is, the duller its title will be. This certainly appears to hold true with the "Starter Homes Regulations: Technical consultation" which opened last Thursday.  

The consultation is seeking views on the Government's detailed proposals for the introduction of Starter Homes - a key plank of Housing & Planning Bill which is currently being considered in the House of Lords.

Some of the more interesting points to note include:

  • requiring between 15% and 20% of the units in a scheme to be starter homes.
  • limiting the obligation to provide starter homes to sites of 10 dwellings or more;
  • allowing injured servicemen or the spouses of those who died in service to apply for starter homes regardless of age;
  • preventing subletting within the first five years of ownership;
  • tapering the level of discount at which a starter home must be sold on at - so that it cannot be sold for full market value for the first 8 years of ownership
  • seeking views on appropriate exemptions or carve outs from the policy - for example for build to rent or student accommodation schemes.

The consultation is open until 18 May 2016 and the papers can be accessed here:

Other measures proposed in the consultation include:

starter homes can only be resold to other first time buyers, at a discount, for 5 to 8 years after purchase; this is to ensure the homes benefit genuine first time buyers and to discourage speculative buying

restrictions also on sub-letting so starter homes are not buy-to-let opportunities

allowing joint purchasers where one partner is above 40 and one below to be eligible for a starter home

Starter homes for heroes

Also under the proposals injured military personnel and partners of those who lost their lives in service would be eligible for a starter home at any age, rather than see a cut off at age 40.

The move will help this group who may otherwise face issues accessing the starter homes scheme. ”