Today's publication of the Planning Policy Statement 3 allows councils to undercut the current minimum of 30 dwellings per hectar

The government has relaxed existing minimum housing density benchmarks and upped the pressure on developers to provide a wider mix of homes.

Planning Policy Statement 3, which was published today, allows councils to set out their own housing density standards. It says that authorities will be able to undercut the existing minimum standard of 30 dwellings per ha.

The document, which establishes the planning template for new housing developments across England, also says that councils should set out policies for the mix of market housing that they want in their areas, which developers will be expected to comply with.

PPS3 also:

  • Gives local councils more freedom to set their own car parking standards
  • Excludes low cost ‘for sale’ housing from the definition of affordable housing contributions
  • Allows councils to cut the size of sites that affordable housing must be delivered on
  • Scraps the greenfield land direction under which the government vets all major housing scheme with a density lower than 30 dph
  • Maintains the existing national target that 60% of housing must be built on brownfield land
  • Requires local authorities to identify a 15 years land supply for housing
  • Encourages good quality housing design
  • Makes developers take the needs of families into account when planning housing development by ensuring provision of play space for children
  • Allows developers to provide affordable housing off-site
Stewart Baseley, Home Builders Federation executive chairman, welcomed the government’s package. “The new PPS3 represents a major commitment on the part of government to delivering the improved supply of new homes our country so badly needs.

"We particularly welcome PPS3's emphasis on identifying sufficient developable land to meet future housing requirements."