Five new ways to improve housing delivery
In August the Government's planning consultation came under fire for setting out proposals that would concentrate housing delivery in the South East of England and largely outside urban areas. The algorithm used to calculate housing need appeared to fly in the face of the tory manifesto pledge to ‘level up’ the country and deliver housing where it is most needed.
So today Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick has announced new plans aimed to quell these fears and underline the Government’s commitment to tackling the housing crisis. The emphasis will now be on development in towns and cities and on brownfield sites, with more investment going to the Midlands and Greater Manchester.
Here are the key points:
- The ‘80/20 rule’ will be revised to redistribute housing fairly across the England so delivery isn’t concentrated in London and the South East.
- A new £100 million Brownfield Land Release fund has been announced, to support brownfield development, estates regeneration, development on public sector land and self and custom-build.
- A new expert Urban Centre Recovery Task Force has been set up to advise on the development and regeneration of our town and city centres.
- New funds worth £67 million will be allocated to the West Midlands and Greater Manchester Mayoral Combined Authorities to help them deliver new homes on brownfield land.
- Over the next 5 years there will be £12 billion of investment in affordable housing, including the new Affordable Homes Programme.
We welcome these proposals, particularly because cities are now being actively encouraged to plan for more family homes of the right size and type for families to live in – and planning authorities are being asked to make the most of vacant buildings and underused land. This not only creates new development in areas that need it but also protects our green spaces. Plans to encourage more homes to be built in England’s 20 largest cities and urban centres should also help boost local economies by not only supporting jobs in the building sector, but also by revitalising our struggling high streets due to increased footfall from new residents.
We blogged earlier this month about plans to tackle the housing shortage in urban areas by enabling commercial space to be converted into new homes by fast-tracking planning permission. Done right, this will also give a boost to high streets, removing derelict eyesores and transforming unused buildings while making the most of our brownfield land and protecting the green belt for future generations.
Author : Maryanne Bowring
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