Friday, 28 December 2012 00:59

Councils 'set to build fewer houses'

Written by  Ruralcity Media
Councils 'set to build fewer houses'

COUNCILS are planning to build 272,720 fewer new homes since the abolition of regional planning, says a report.

Local authorities across England have radically reduced their housing targets, according to the Policy Exchange study.

This has contributed to a situation where the Coalition could preside over the lowest level of housebuilding since the 1920s, it claims.

Rather than fighting councils, the government should now work with them to ensure that they deliver the homes their targets propose, argues the document.

The study, Planning for Less, uses figures produced by planning consultancy Tetlow King. It can be downloaded here.

Since the revocation of Regional Spatial Strategies in 2010, local authorities have used their beefed up planning powers to reduce housing targets, it says.

The largest reductions are in the South East (-57,049) and South West (-108,380), areas with the greatest housing shortage.

The report says lowering housing targets will eventually lead to fewer homes being built.

Although the targets are seldom hit, the document says they govern the release of land for housing, meaning less land will be made available.

Without significant changes to the planning system, housing numbers will continue to fall over time, it warns.

The report argues that the government should not be too aggressive toward councils reducing targets, except where they are clearly ignoring their responsibilities.

It argues that instead the government should focus on ensuring councils actually deliver the homes their targets propose.

The report proposes increasing the power and number of neighbourhood plans and directly channelling funds from the Community Infrastructure Levy to households affected by new development.
It also suggests converting more brownfield sites into housing.

Report author Alex Morton said: "The Prime Minister and the Deputy Prime Minister have rightly made it clear that we need to build more homes. Yet the government is on track to preside over the lowest level of housebuilding since the 1920s.

"Relying on councils to expand housing targets was a mistake. However, now the Coalition should focus on fixing the multiple failures with the housing market – not fighting councils. This can help us begin to build the homes we need."

The full figures can be downloaded here.

People in this conversation

  • Cerainly North Dorset District Council has revised its figures downwards, under the RSS it was to be 7000 Homes they have revised it to 4200 homes using the downturn in the economy as an excuse, yet the government are saying we need more homes and the provision of those homes will stimulate the economy. It seems to me a bit like a pantomime I am waiting for the fairy queen or wizard to come forward to put things right Perhaps it will be UKIP

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