Propertywire.com raised an interesting point recently regarding the government’s view to house building and in their attempts to build as many homes as possible, have they lost sight of design and build quality?
Property developer Richard Carr has always felt that the government’s target of building 200,000 new homes by 2020 was very ambitious. His 30 years’ experience in the industry and knowing the current issues with the planning system lead him to believe that the claim was used to gain votes rather than be put into practice.
Despite being a long way off their target, the government has continued to use this target and house building has increased slightly. At what cost, though?
A report published by the House of Lords Built Environment Select Committee Report has questioned if the government’s short term approach to building will negatively affect design and quality.
“There is an urgent need to co-ordinate and reconcile policy across numerous different areas and priorities. Recently, however, one priority has become dominant in debates concerning built environment policy. Increasing the overall supply of housing, and the speed at which housing is delivered, is a central part of the Government’s policy agenda,” the report says.
Furthermore, the report looks into the gap between planning permissions granted and new homes built, questioning local council’s ability to monitor and quality control new builds.
The report outlines the government’s main agenda which is based on speed and quality rather than sustainable planning for the long-term and the delivery of high quality homes.
The report said: “The Government is pursuing a deregulatory agenda as seen, for example, in the introduction of more flexible arrangements for office to residential conversions and the strong policy emphasis placed on the financial viability of new developments. These changes, however, have the cumulative effect of progressively diluting the capacity of local authorities to scrutinise new developments, to safeguard quality and sustainability and to ensure that proposals contribute to an overall and beneficial sense of place.”
Richard Carr believes that the planning industry is a vital part of the country’s economy and that it needs to regain the status that it deserves. He believes the government should focus on increasing resources at a local level to enable them to work with developers rather than against them.
He also thinks there should be a 24 month moratorium on all S106 and CIL payments as long as the development has started to be built within 12 months of the planning being granted, then you would see some movement!
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