LETTER: New thinking to meet need

Your letters
Your letters

We continue to see houses built not only on green fields and flood-prone land, but also with inadequate affordable housing provision.

We might ask how developers get away with it?

Local Plans often use house-building targets, based more on population projections than on supply/demand.

So when councils almost inevitably fail to meet their unattainable targets, planning inspectors have free rein to permit speculative development.

Naturally developers will only build what they can sell at a profit and they tend to prefer green field to brown field sites.

This encourages them to bank application approvals until the time is ripe to build; at this point they build many larger houses, which are of course more profitable.

Consequently there is approval for many thousands of houses, but they are not being built. Unlike councils, developers incur no penalty if Local Plan targets are not met.

That, and the fact that so many inappropriate applications have been allowed, shows clearly that developers are in the driving seat. So much for Localism!

There are around 1.4 million on UK housing registers and it will take at least ten years to make up for the housing backlog. It should be quite clear by now that affordable housing needs are not going to be met unless some publicly-owned land is released. Also required is extra funding, including money from accumulated planning gain funds.

Since the cost of housing a family in temporary accommodation can exceed £15,000 pa (much higher in some locations), there is clearly an urgent need to get more affordable houses built, but we need some innovative thinking from councils.

P. H. Dearsley

Northlands Road, Warnham


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