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New affordability test will increase pressure on countryside and provide little affordable housing

28 August 2013

New guidance won't help get affrodable housing in the right place New guidance won't help get affrodable housing in the right place © stocker1970/Shutterstock


Draft new government planning guidance proposes a new ‘affordability’ test, supposedly based on a simplistic economic view that releasing more land for new housing will bring down prices. This so-called ‘affordability test’ is likely to result in unnecessary loss of countryside and deliver very little affordable housing.

This is the initial response of CPRE to the launch of a new Government website on planning.

Ollie Miller, Housing Campaigner at CPRE, said:

‘There is an urgent need for improvements to planning for new housing to meet the growing need for the right housing in the right place. Despite Government commitments to localism and the Green Belt, over 150,000 dwellings are proposed on Green Belt land and there is mounting evidence of local councils being overruled by Government Inspectors.

Councils need more powers to decide the type of new housing needed in their area and where it should be located. Yet, the new test risks yet more countryside being built on unnecessarily against the wishes of local communities.’

‘Despite all the talk of localism, the lack of appropriate national planning guidance means local authorities can’t plan for the right housing in the right places. Sadly today’s announcement looks set to make matters far worse. We will be doing all we can to encourage the Government to rethink its approach.’


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