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Mr Yogi

Planning Controls Preventing House Building

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It seems clear that the main factor preventing the building of sufficient new houses is our planning system.

I recently did some work for the head of the planning department of a local authority in the North-West. My conversation with him was illuminating.

The local authority in question several years ago bulldozed a notorious council estate. No tears were shed - it really was dog-rough! The site has since remained empty but recently it has been announced that it is to be developed for industrial units.

Why, I asked my client, could it not have been sold to a developer for house building? All services would already be in place, the location is ideal; it just seemed obvious.

'Because the council has not identified a need for any more housing in the borough' came the reply.

Hang on a minute,

House prices have soared, would-be FTB cannot afford to buy, everything would suggest that there is an imbalance in supply and demand etc etc but no.

'The council has not identified a need for any more housing in the borough'

So a few incompetant or corrupt councillors with BTL portfolios can prevent much-needed new housing developments in a whole borough. Replicate this situation thoughout the country and it is no wonder that we can't build enough new homes.

Over to you, Mr Brown.

A few Stalinist policies are needed.

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Why, I asked my client, could it not have been sold to a developer for house building? All services would already be in place, the location is ideal; it just seemed obvious.

'Because the council has not identified a need for any more housing in the borough' came the reply.

The really ironic fact is had the council sold the land for housing they would have generated far more income to be reinvested in services for there hard pressed tax payers. If it had been a large plot and I'm assuming that one suitable for industrial units is sizeable then the council would have also been able to get decent dowry for improving local infrastructure via an s106 agreement.

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It seems clear that the main factor preventing the building of sufficient new houses is our planning system.

I recently did some work for the head of the planning department of a local authority in the North-West. My conversation with him was illuminating.

The local authority in question several years ago bulldozed a notorious council estate. No tears were shed - it really was dog-rough! The site has since remained empty but recently it has been announced that it is to be developed for industrial units.

Why, I asked my client, could it not have been sold to a developer for house building? All services would already be in place, the location is ideal; it just seemed obvious.

'Because the council has not identified a need for any more housing in the borough' came the reply.

Hang on a minute,

House prices have soared, would-be FTB cannot afford to buy, everything would suggest that there is an imbalance in supply and demand etc etc but no.

'The council has not identified a need for any more housing in the borough'

So a few incompetant or corrupt councillors with BTL portfolios can prevent much-needed new housing developments in a whole borough. Replicate this situation thoughout the country and it is no wonder that we can't build enough new homes.

Over to you, Mr Brown.

A few Stalinist policies are needed.

It's a bit of a leap to say that BTL councillors are holding up housing developments to prop up their ailing portfolios (classic HPC paranoia though!). More likely to be the sloth-like reactions of the planning department to review policy to reflect current needs, if there is a need in the area.

Existing services may actually prove to be a hindrance to a new housing estate, as the enabling works required to provide services to a new housing development may be overcomplicated and economically unfeasible. Difficult to know without more of the facts, of course.

Also, allowing policy to be driven by the benefits of an unspecified s106 agreement would, on the face of it be a bit 2 dimensional imo.

Edited by bigfeet

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You are telling us something we already know.

Labour Councils are corrupt, people have short memories indeed. Remember Liverpool?

There is plenty of land available already for housing, and it is in the hands of the County Councils.

Take a look at West Sussex County Council, they have a huge landbank, but refuse to allow building on it as they will sell it off slowly to their mates.

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It's a bit of a leap to say that BTL councillors are holding up housing developments to prop up their ailing portfolios (classic HPC paranoia though!). More likely to be the sloth-like reactions of the planning department to review policy to reflect current needs, if there is a need in the area.

My point was that the very fact that house prices have risen to the point of unaffordability plainly demonstrates a need for more housing.

This is a need that now seems to be accepted by Mr Brown across the country.

So why does he allow local councillers to kybosh the nation's need to build new houses?

GB is often criticised for being a centralist. Housing policy needs him to be.

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