Tuesday, 19 July 2016 08:38

Reform 'vital' to solve housing crisis

Written by  Ruralcity Media
Reform 'vital' to solve housing crisis

REFORMING planning rules will help ease the rural housing crisis, say business leaders.

The Country Land and Business Association made the plea in response to 'Building more homes', a report by the House of Lords Select Committee Economic Affairs, published on Friday (15 July).

The report recommends that planning fees should be much higher than the current limit and that local authorities should be given power to increase the charges.

CLA President Ross Murray said communities secretary Sajid Javid should press ahead with vital reform of the planning system which was holding back development.

Mr Murray said: "He must help create the right conditions to build houses and provide the rental homes that rural communities desperately need."

Mr Murray said: "The planning system already prevents rural business development because of the complexity and costs involved. This prevents many proposals from coming forward that would otherwise provide valuable rural economic growth.

"An increase in planning fees must be proportionate with the nature and scale of the development to avoid suffocating the rural economy and damaging the delivery of homes, job creation and better quality wages in rural areas.

"There must be a discernible improvement in planning authority service levels for higher fees to be justified.

"Mr Javid has the opportunity to provide rural businesses with the certainty they need to invest in the right developments in the right places, helping to solve to the housing crisis in rural areas."

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