EXCL Government’s flagship new homes pledge branded 'meaningless' as it’s left out of key plan
Ministers are under pressure to explain why their flagship 300,000-a-year new homes target has been left out of a key Government plan.
According to the Housing Secretary, the latest draft of the National Planning Policy Framework – which sets out how the Government will deliver new homes across the country – does not feature the goal.
In an answer to a parliamentary question, James Brokenshire said: “The draft revised National Planning Policy Framework does not set a national home building target.
“It proposes the introduction of a standard method for assessing housing need that would be used locally as the starting point for each area’s plan-making.”
But Shadow Housing Secretary John Healey blasted the omission, telling PoliticsHome: “After eight years of failure, the Conservatives have no plan to fix the housing crisis.
“Ministers’ housebuilding targets are meaningless if they don’t even feature in the Government’s national housing plan."
However, Housing Minister Dominic Raab MP dismissed the claims, saying in a statement: “The annual home delivery target has never been in the NPPF, which sets out the national planning rules.
“There has been no change in our commitment to get the supply of new homes up to 300,000 – and the most recent data shows the highest number of new homes delivered in all but one of last 30 years.”
The exchange came in the week a group of ten Tory MPs piled pressure on Theresa May to solve the UK’s housing crisis.
Treasury aide Scott Mann – who spearheaded the intervention – urged the Prime Minister to make housebuilding a priority in order to win back young voters.
In an article for PoliticsHome, he wrote: “Housing supply has not kept up with demand for well over two decades and now it is time for a comprehensive overhaul of a broken market.
“We need to come up with real solutions, not only because it is the right thing to do but also because it is a defining issue that is holding back Conservative support in under-40s voters.”
The Government has struggled to meet the ambitious 300,000 annual new homes target, with just 180,000 completed in 2016/17.
A final version of the National Planning Policy Framework is set to be published this summer.
Richard Beresford, chief executive of the National Federation of Builders, said: “Three hundred thousand one-bedroom flats will not solve the housing crisis, just as 300,000 bungalows would not. The reality of the housing crisis is much more complicated than a headline-grabbing number.” Read the full response here.