Reforming planning vital to building more council houses, says HBA
During her speech at Conservative Party Conference, Theresa May announced that the Government will spend an additional £2 billion to create “a new generation of council houses to help fix our broken housing market.”
The House Builders Association (HBA) – the house building division of the National Federation of Builders (NFB) – welcomes extra funding for new council houses, but it doubts that it will have a significant impact in solving the housing crisis.
While more funding for house building will certainly help, the Government needs to do more in order to enable local authorities to significantly tackle the issue of housing affordability across the country. For instance, removing the borrowing cap on local planning authorities would go a long way towards stimulating councils to build more homes.
Rico Wojtulewicz, policy advisor for the HBA, said: “More money for new council homes is good, but the Government is only scratching the surface of the problem. Removing the borrowing cap on local authorities would certainly enable them to invest more in their local communities, but only radical planning reform will allow us to tackle the current housing crisis.
“The current planning process remains a considerable barrier to many SME house builders and developers and we can only assume Councils will fall foul of the same barriers. Overhauling the planning system is vital to building more homes and ultimately solving the housing crisis.”