Guidance issued on including housing in DCOs in England

March 22, 2017

Section 160 of the Housing and Planning Act 2016, which allows the inclusion of ‘related housing’ in DCOs, comes into force on 6 April 2017 and DCLG has now issued Guidance on this, as Ministers said they would when the Bill for the Act was passing through Parliament.

The changes allow development consent to be obtained for housing which is related to a nationally significant infrastructure project. The Guidance indicates that the related housing must be functionally related to the project, or if not in geographical proximity to it (defined as up to 1 mile).

The Guidance indicates that the maximum amount of housing to be included is 500 dwellings and that the Secretary of State is unlikely to consent, or indeed to accept for examination, a scheme containing more dwellings on the basis that may undermine the local planning process.

If there is no functional need, normal local policies on affordable housing will apply. The Guidance provides advice on how the housing element should be addressed in the DCO application. Policy in the NPPF will be relevant in determining applications.