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Housing bill ‘won’t help build homes’

CPRE reacts to today’s publication of the Housing and Planning Bill.

Matt Thomson, head of planning at the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE), comments: “We really welcome the bill’s proposal to increase support for neighbourhood planning and to introduce a brownfield register.

“But unfortunately the bill risks slowing down house building by introducing a barrage of complex new rules and regulations. If anything, decision-making will face a turbulent future as developers fight with local authorities in the courts.

“The Government should stop fixating on the planning system. Figures show that planning permissions are not the issue; the issue is that developers are not building the homes for which they have permission. So, while a brownfield register is a very welcome move, further initiatives to deregulate planning are not going to ensure we build the affordable homes we need to tackle the housing crisis.”

On rural affordable housing
“This bill is just not going to help people who need genuinely affordable housing in rural areas. Rural areas already have a lower supply of social housing, lower wages, and higher house prices. £250,000 for a starter home is far above what most under-40s in the countryside can afford. And to compound this, the Government has failed to back up its claim that it will support a rural exemption from the Right to Buy.”

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