Fantasy v. reality and localism v. centralism in housing supply

    And not a mention of the bigger problems – land banking, lack of infrastructure and no incentives to build affordable properties – in either article!

    Report calls for local authorities to be cut out of housing projects

    With just 117,720 homes built last year, a new report from planning consultancy Quod [and coincidentally appointed by Brandon Lewis below, to speed up planning permissions] and lawyers Bond Dickinson suggests that the housing shortage has become so severe that building projects should be considered by central government rather than by local authorities. It argues that housebuilding should be brought into the nationally significant infrastructure projects (NSIP) regime, thus allowing developers to apply directly to the government for planning permission, bypassing local authority planning regulations.

    “Local housing plans are being held up either because it’s a difficult decision for local authorities to take, or two or three local authorities can’t agree between themselves, or the local inspectorate is pushing back. So it’s taking a long time for those local plans to come through, and there’s no guarantee that will change. There are no perfect solutions to delivering large-scale housing development, but the NSIP regime looks to be an attractive option, and we urge the government to consult on its usage as a matter of urgency,”

    Kevin Gibbs a partner at Bond Dickinson explains.
    The Times, Page: 45

    and

    “Lewis hopes for 1m new homes by end of Parliament

    Brandon Lewis, the housing minister, has said in a BBC documentary that he hopes to see 1m new homes built by the end of this Parliament. Gavin Smart, deputy chief executive of the Chartered Institute of Housing, said: “Matching the ambition with successful delivery would be a great achievement.”

    However, Professor Tony Crook, of the University of Sheffield, commented: “It would certainly be a significant target, but a lot of people would argue it’s not enough.” He added that private sector builders would only be able to deliver 150,000 a year by themselves, and said the Government must do more to support building by other sectors if it is to meet the target.

    The BBC Inside Out documentary was aired last night on BBC1 at 7.30pm and is available on BBC