Mind the Gap
The Chancellor disappointed by not announcing anything about housing supply in his budget. But two days later policy from DCLG came to the rescue – somewhat.
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The chancellor announced a new series of planning reforms in July, intended to ease up planning delays and enable developers to get more homes built. The key points included:
• Options for the secretary of state to intervene when councils haven’t got their local plans in order
• A new system of zones where brownfield land would get automatic planning permission for housing
• Tighter rules on planning performance to speed up application times
• Allowing rooftop extensions in London up to the height of adjoining buildings
• Legislation to allow major infrastructure projects that included housing to be considered
The proposals were well received by the industry, and we think that the chancellor’s plan will see more homes built, which is to be welcomed. But there’s much more that could be done for absolute numbers of housing delivery. Our research shows that were the chancellor to look to land within walking distance of the 80 train stations in the greenbelts around the UK’s cities he’d find space to build 500,000 homes.
So while it’s welcome to hear the chancellor working to get more homes built, the solution to our housing problems is not just in the number of homes built, rather making sure we’re building the right types of homes in the right places. That certainly means a much wider variety of tenures than the government seems to be considering, in a wider variety of places.
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