Sajid Javid vows crackdown on ‘Nimby councils’ that fail to build enough homes

Posted On: 
4th March 2018

Councils could be stripped of their planning powers if they fail to build enough homes, Sajid Javid has warned.

Sajid Javid said: “We need a housing revolution."
Credit: 
PA Images

The Housing Secretary said "Nimby councils" which fail to hit new housing targets could see independent inspectors imposed upon them to make decisions instead.

He announced that market prices would be taken into account for the first time and said he would be "breathing down" the necks of local authorities on the issue. 

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His comments come ahead of an overhaul of planning rules, to be announced tomorrow, which will encourage councils to use more land for development.

The scheme will also impose annual building targets on the local authorities - determined by local house prices, wages and key worker numbers.

“For the first time it will explicitly take into account the market prices,” Mr Javid said.

“If you are in an area where the unaffordability ratio is much higher you will have to build even more. It will make clear to councils that this number is a minimum, not a maximum.”

He continued: “It will no longer allow Nimby councils that don’t really want to build the homes that their local community needs to fudge the numbers.”

And he said: “This is quite a big sanction for every local authority to not just come up with the right number, but once that number is in place, we are going to be breathing down your neck to make sure you are actually delivering on those numbers...

“It doesn’t matter who you are or who your MP is, if you haven’t got a plan you will be hearing from me.

“If a council keeps ignoring its responsibility we can take that planning responsibility away from them and give it to someone else.”

The plan will also make building flats in big cities easier to increase density and let home owners add two stories to existing properties. 

'REVOLUTION'

Mr Javid admitted that failure to address the housing shortage in the country could lead voters to the “hard-left ideas of Corbyn”.

“We need a housing revolution. We have to show the British people we are doing everything we reasonably can,” he conceded.  

However, Labour Shadow Housing Secretary John Healey has criticised the plan saying: “Eight years of failure on housing is the fault of Whitehall, not town halls.”

Elsewhere, Mr Javid announced plans to build up to five new towns between Oxford and Cambridge. 

He said: "Along that corridor there's an opportunity to build at least four or five garden towns and villages with thousands of homes."