The latest DCLG technical consultation document sets out a requirement for 20 per cent of homes on larger sites to be discounted Starter Homes for first-time buyers. The consultation proposes that the requirement should apply to sites that provide ten or more homes, or are larger than 0.5 hectares.
David Evans, the Immediate Past President of the Planning Officers Society and a member of the DCLG technical working group on Starter Homes, told a Planning magazine reporter that the requirement would limit councils' scope for negotiating other affordable provision even in areas where local plans set affordable targets well above the 20 per cent threshold. "Starter Homes will just be a substitute for existing affordable housing. This will have enormous consequences for housing associations, because their model has been based on a proportion of units coming though the planning system since the early 1990s," Evans said.
He added that even if the proposed "tapered" period within which Starter Homes must be sold at less than full market value is extended to eight years - the maximum ministers are prepared to entertain, according to the consultation - this will do little to address councils' concerns that the initiative will fuel property speculation and increase house prices.