Section 1. Introduction


The Government is committed to increasing home ownership and improving opportunities for young first time buyers. The delivery of 200,000 quality starter homes during the Parliament is a central part of this ambition. Starter homes will be exclusively available for first-time buyers under the age of 40 and sold at a discount of at least 20 per cent of the market price.  

To deliver this commitment, the Housing and Planning Bill (currently before Parliament) proposes a new statutory framework for starter homes, including:

·       a statutory definition of a starter home;
·       a general duty on local planning authorities to promote the supply of starter homes when carrying out their planning functions;
·       the ability to set a starter homes requirement, meaning that local planning authorities may only grant planning permission for residential development if the starter homes requirement is met; 
·       reporting arrangements to ensure local communities, and especially first time buyers, are aware of what action local planning authorities are taking to support the delivery of starter homes; and
·       powers for the Secretary of State to intervene if local planning authorities fail to carry out their functions related to starter homes. 
The detailed implementation of key aspects for the statutory framework for starter homes will be set out in regulations made by the Secretary of State, including:

·        elements of the definition of a starter home;
·        the starter homes requirement (regulations specifying the number of starter homes to be delivered and the types of site on which the requirement should be imposed, such as those of a reasonable size) ; and
·        the reporting arrangements for starter homes delivery.
This technical consultation sets out the Government’s proposed approach for these regulations and seeks views from developers, local planning authorities and other partners about our proposals.
Consultation responses will help to inform the preparation of the regulations following the Housing and Planning Bill’s Royal Assent. 
In December 2015, the Government also published a consultation on further changes to national planning policy to complement these legislative reforms. This included a proposal to amend the definition of affordable housing for the purposes of national planning policy. That consultation closed on 22nd February 2016.  The consultation document proposed to broaden the definition of affordable housing so it encompasses a fuller range of products that can support access to home ownership, including starter homes. Paragraph 11 of that consultation mentioned the Government’s intention to consult on the percentage requirement for starter homes on reasonably-sized sites.
In light of the proposals now set out in this consultation document relating to the percentage requirement for starter homes we want to provide a further opportunity for respondents to make any additional representations on the proposed changes to the definition of affordable homes for the purpose of national planning policy. Any comments should be sent to by no later than Friday 22 April.