Good news on making sure communities get affordable housing they need

7th April 2021

We are thrilled that the government has withdrawn one of their controversial proposals to change the current system that controls what gets built and where – which threatened to reduce the numbers of affordable homes built. This new move signifies another important win for our campaign to improve the planning system.

Proposals to allow developers to build up to 50 houses without any of them being affordable would have put thousands of rural homes out of the reach of key workers and young families each year. So the change in plans will come as a relief for many communities who are already seeing these people being priced out of the areas they call home.

The welcome decision follows CPRE’s joint letter to housing secretary Robert Jenrick last October, in which we – alongside Shelter, Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth and others – urged the government not to increase the ‘small sites threshold’ over which developers must incorporate affordable homes [currently set at 10 dwellings]. Instead, the letter called on ministers to ‘invest in delivering genuinely affordable quality homes, including homes for social rent’.

CPRE is passionate about the provision of affordable housing in new developments because a lack of suitable homes can drive younger people out of areas that need them if they are to thrive. We have been campaigning alongside our local groups and supporters against the attempt to reduce this provision since it was first announced in August last year.

This news is the second win for our campaign against the deregulation of the planning system, after the government announced vital adjustments to their ill-conceived housing algorithm in December. It’s another positive sign that the government is listening to our concerns.

Next steps

But we are not ready to drop the pressure yet. These wins provide a glimmer of hope as they show the government is willing to make changes. But there is still much work to be done as many of the government’s damaging proposals remain.

It is vital that local people are at the heart of decisions that affect them in building back post-coronavirus. The government’s deregulation agenda threatens to lock out communities from the decision-making and halt their ability to create thriving communities.

You can help us continue to resist the government’s damaging proposals, through joining us in telling the government that the local voice is vital for ensuring the provision of the quality, affordable homes we need, while preventing unnecessary loss of countryside and green spaces.

Don't let the government deregulate planning.

CPRE will be keeping a keen eye on government movements from here, and we will continue to support a planning system that provides for people, nature and the environment.

Family standing in front of house and smiling
More social housing is needed so that key workers can live in rural communities iStock