Tuesday, 21 January 2014 01:29

Vision unveiled for housing in England

Written by  Ruralcity Media
Vision unveiled for housing in England

A VISION for the future of housing in England has been unveiled by the Country Land and Business Association.

The document, Tackling the Housing Crisis in England, was launched at Westminster on Tuesday (21 January).

"New homes are urgently needed to keep communities in the countryside alive," said CLA president Henry Robinson. "Without this housing, we will lose the young people and services needed to keep rural areas economically viable.

"More retirement homes are also needed in rural areas so older people can pass on farm holdings to the next generation."

The report proposes a raft of recommendations to ease the housing crisis.

These include encouraging private landowners to build affordable homes by broadening the types of provider accepted by councils.

The document also calls for recognition that landowners could pool their resources to speed up the creation of garden cities and using welfare reform as a means for extending the range of housing.

Mr Robinson said: "We would like to see new planning guidance that requires local authorities to take account of future, national infrastructure projects, including rural broadband that can and will open up new housing sites and deliver the knowledge economy to the regions.

"We also want the tax system used to incentivise private landlords to let homes at below-market rents and build new market-rented accommodation."

He added: "Our report also calls for planning authorities to give consistently good pre-application advice."

The document calls for a new methodology to be created for Energy Performance Certificates so older rented accommodation is not taken out of use.

It recommends exemption from Council Tax for vacant older buildings being brought up to Minimum Energy Performance standards.

The CLA is also calling for an extension of the Landlords Energy Savings Allowance, instead of replacing it with expensive Green Deal loans.

The full document can be downloaded here.

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