Wholesale Planning Reform Will Give us the Homes we Need, Says NFB

THE GOVERNMENT will fail to solve the housing crisis unless radical changes to the planning process are made, according to The National Audit Office (NAO).

The NAO says that the planning system is underperforming because councils use outdated information to calculate how many new homes they need to build. According to the NAO’s calculations, continuing the use this outdated data will only deliver 250,000 homes a year.

Housing Minister Kit Malthouse MP recognised the challenges but stressed that “over the last three decades, governments of all stripes have built too few homes of all types.”

The NFB have highlighted three things that need to be done by the Government in order to build enough new homes:

  • update the flawed method used to assess local housing need;
  • ensure local plans are robust and allocate deliverable sites;
  • reform the process of planning permission.

Homes England is already helping local authorities reform planning by:

  • working with local authorities directly to meet demand
  • speeding up the planning permission process;
  • helping developers access finance after they secure planning permission.

Richard Beresford, chief executive of the NFB, said: “We cannot build 820 new homes every day unless we are realistic about demand. Decades of failure are no excuse. We need action, not reviews. The Government must learn from Homes England’s experiences”

Rico Wojtulewicz, head of housing and planning policy at the House Builders Association (HBA), said: “Even if we correctly assess demand, unless we allocate deliverable sites and grant permissions, shovels won’t get into the ground. We have tinkered for years, it’s time for the Government to get real and actually reform the entire planning process.”



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