BPF welcomes government planning consultation to fix broken housing market

14 Sep 2017

Policy area: Planning

The British Property Federation (BPF) welcomes the government’s planning consultation published today: Planning for the right homes in the right places.

The Housing White Paper, published earlier this year, set out government’s ambitions to build a million new homes by 2020. Today’s consultation sets out proposals to ensure the UK’s planning system can deliver this commitment.

Currently, methods employed to calculate housing need vary significantly and result in significant time and cost burdens, fundamental flaws that will impede an ambitious housebuilding programme if not resolved. The proposals in this consultation focus on providing local authorities with a standardised method to calculate local housing needs, simplifying and making the process consistent across the UK.

Ian Fletcher, Director of Real Estate Policy, British Property Federation comments:

“Measuring housing need is an essential component of the government’s housing policy. Developers rarely seek to push water uphill, but they want to work with communities to deliver housing within the framework of a good local plan that is based on accurate estimates of housing need. We also support an increase in planning fees if that means more resource on the ground for local authorities – for some councils, additional headcount and better staff retention will make a huge difference.

“We are particularly pleased to see government’s proposal that housing need itself should be better disaggregated. For example, across the country the housing choices for older people are often woeful and identifying their specific needs is vital. Similarly, the recognition that build-to-rent should be assessed separately from homes for sale will help boost that growing part of our sector and ensure it can truly support in adding to much-needed housing supply. The measures set out today, when implemented, will help fix our broken housing market.”

ENDS