Catesby’s in-house Planning Manager, Dawn Adams highlights the key take home messages, from planning in the news from the last few weeks:
Authorities without Local Plans Named and Shamed
It has been an exciting couple of weeks with planning in the headlines. Last week Secretary of Speech, Sajid Javid’s speech on the housing crisis which criticised those who are adamant there is no housing crisis citing the baby boomers who have long-since paid off their own mortgage as being ignorant to millennials issues getting on the housing ladder – it’s not all smashed avocados!
Javid concluded that “it’s painfully obvious that there remains much, much more to be done” to solve the housing crisis in this country. Critical to housing supply, Sajid Javid highlighted the importance of an adopted Local Plan to give certainty to local people. He then went on to name and shame 15 authorities who have failed to adopt a plan. Whilst some have stayed conspicuously quiet, York and St Albans have been quick to explain their “exceptional” circumstances. We shall see what comes on as government taking on plan making or is this just another idle threat…
National Infrastructure Commission
Then, we had Lord Adonis, Chairman of the National Infrastructure Commission promising to deliver new and improved infrastructure to help deliver one million new homes and jobs by 2050. “The arc spanning Cambridge, Milton Keynes and Oxford attracts the brightest and best from some of the most cutting edge industries. But the area also suffers from a lack of available homes and an infrastructure network that is feeling the strain – pricing local people out of the market, making it difficult for businesses to recruit staff, and threatening the future competitiveness of one of the most successful parts of the country.”
In particular, transport improvements include;
And following all that excitement, Philip Hammond, Chancellor of the Exchequer set out in his Autumn budget yesterday where measures to tackle the housing crisis included a £44bn package of investment, loans and guarantees to increase the annual amount of new homes built to 300,000 in the middle of the next decade (despite that the latest standardised OAN methodology would only deliver 260,000).
In his speech to the House of Commons he stated;
“There is one area where young people today will, rightly, feel concern about their future prospects – and that is in the housing market. House prices are increasingly out of reach for many. It takes too long to save for a deposit and rents absorb too high a portion of monthly income. So the number of 25-34 year olds owning their own home has dropped from 59% to just 38% over the last thirteen years.
Put simply, successive governments over decades, have failed to build enough homes to deliver the home-owning dream that this country has always been proud of. …If we don’t increase supply of land for new homes, more money will inflate prices, and make matters worse…
Within the Autumn Budget, there are a few standout planning measures: