Whilst the Housing and Planning Bill made it through the House of Commons almost unscathed, its time in the House of Lords has been decidedly difficult.
On 25 April 2016 the Lords proposed yet more amendments to the affordable housing provisions contained within the Bill. In particular, the Lords have introduced an amendment that will allow Councils to introduce affordable housing requirements on some small scale developments - such as those in rural locations.
This move could be seen as an attempt to preempt the outcome of a Court of Appeal case, on the small sites exemption from planning contributions, which is expected shortly.
If not overturned, this latest amendment would be a blow to DCLG. Ministers have stated that they intend to bring the exemption back - either through the current litigation or through legislation - and it was widely anticipated that the Housing & Planning Bill would be one route for doing so.
Yesterday, during the final session of the report stage session of the bill in the House of Lords, peers voted by 269 to 185 to back an amendment moved by Labour peer Baroness Royall to allow local authorities to require developers to make affordable housing contributions on certain small-scale developments. These include where schemes comprise 10 units or less, and developments in certain rural areas, including where permission was granted on the basis of a policy for the provision of housing on rural exception sites, according to the amendment. ..... Peers also voted by 253 to 188 in favour of an amendment to require sustainable drainage systems (SuDS) in new developments.