We Need to Talk About First Homes…
However, with 28 December 2021 having now passed the majority of the dates in the transitional arrangements have come and gone – leaving only 28 March 2022 remaining. With only two months until the final transitional arrangement date the Industry must start talking about First Homes.
Indeed, despite the Government publishing the model S106 clauses for First Homes on 23 December 2021 there still remains very little discussion between the Development Industry and Local Planning Authorities (LPA) in respect of First Homes. A few proactive LPA’s have published position statements, which provide some degree of clarity regarding how First Homes will be integrated in those locations. However, most LPA’s remain silent on this issue, as indeed remains the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) which has still yet to be updated and indeed remains in conflict with passages from the Planning Practice Guidance (PPG).
It is too early to predict whether the First Homes initiative will successfully address the housing crisis or, like its predecessor Starter Homes, fail to have any discernible impact. But one certainty is that more open communication is required if the scheme has any chance of success.