House building reaches record low

Published:  04 January, 2013

English councils are planning to build 273,000 fewer houses since the abolition of regional planning which allowed authorities to ignore housing targets according to a report by the Policy Exchange.

The report, called Planning for Less, finds that despite government assertions to the contrary, it is presiding over the lowest peacetime level of housebuilding since the twenties and house building levels will continue to fall unless significant changes to the planning system are made.

The report finds that the largest reductions in plans for new homes come in the South-West and the South-East – the two areas of the country with the greatest housing shortage. It says the planning system should be reformed by increasing the power of neighbourhood plans, and that funding from the Community Infrastructure Levy channelled directly to households affected by new development.

Report author Alex Morton said: “The prime minister and deputy prime minister have rightly made it clear that we need to build more homes. Yet the government is on track to preside over the lowest level of housebuilding since the twenties.

“Relying on councils to expand housing targets was a mistake. However, now the coalition should focus on fixing the multiple failures with the housing market – not fighting councils. This can help us begin to build the homes we need."

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