More needs to change to tackle lack of housing
Today, Prime Minister Theresa May made a speech to the National Planning Conference in which she said the existing National Planning Policy Framework will be overhauled.
Dr Quintin Bradley, Senior Lecturer in Planning and Housing at Leeds Beckett University, has reacted to the implementation of the measures but said more fundamental things need to change in order to solved the problem.
“I am pleased to see the Government is taking action on the country’s lack of homes. Having more houses would be fantastic, but this is only part of the problem. The new method of calculating housing need wrongly assumes that an increase in housing supply will lead to fall in house prices; we all know it doesn’t work like that because there is a global market for housing as an investment, not a home, and land prices are rising faster than housing prices.
“Additionally, an increase in planning permissions does not lead to more homes being built – there are already permissions for almost 500,000 homes that developers have not built. Developers should not be able to get round planning policy by claiming that it is not financially viable for them to comply with it. The new proposals make financial viability assessments public but that will make little difference.
“The biggest failing is that most investment in affordable housing is going to home ownership – which is simply not affordable. We need to go back to building for social rent – with rent levels based on average earnings. That’s the only we can begin to get a handle on tackling this growing problem.”
Dr Quintin Bradley is a Senior Lecturer in Planning and Housing and leads research into community planning and its impact on housing supply. His work is published in peer reviewed international journals and he is the author of books on the tenants' movement and on localism and neighbourhood planning.