Friday, 5 February 2016

Planning constipation

The habit of house-builders (and big supermarkets!) of sitting on land which has planning permission, not developing it until profits can be maximised, continues. The Local Government Association states that 475,000 houses are waiting to be built in England (and one assumes that, proportionately, Wales is in the same situation). This in spite of relaxation of building standards by both the UK and Welsh governments thanks to pressure from the builders. The Association asserts that the figures prove that the planning system is not a barrier to house building. There are some who disagree, as this article points out.

Private Eye and The Independent are on the side of the LGA and pour scorn on David Cameron's plan to demolish 100 tenanted estates. This would clearly reduce the housing available to the poor in favour of homes for the better-off. It is reckoned that the Tories' "starter homes" are affordable only to those with a household income of over £70,000.

Liberal Democrat Peter Black's plans for Wales are in bold contrast. I myself have called for an Irish-style "use it or lose it" planning framework.

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