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Senior Tory wants 50% of new London homes reserved for Britons

Chris Philp, a Conservative MP and Parliamentary Private Secretary to Chancellor Phillip Hammond, says 50 per cent of new homes in London should be reserved for British buyers.

Philp, the MP for Croydon South, has written a paper for the right wing think-tank the Centre for Policy Studies, proposing a string of planning reforms to increase home building and promote home ownership.

His proposal regarding new builds in the capital would apply to all schemes of more than 20 homes and emulates similar principles put forward in Switzerland, Australia, Canada and Denmark, where domestic buyers are favoured in certain cases.

The document says the average first time buyer now has to save for 10 years to put together a deposit, and suggests home ownership rates falling among the young. 

The report says:

- the gap between the number of new homes the UK needs and the number being built each year now stands at 76,000 a year - it says this is an improvement on the figure of around 150,000 under Labour;

- of this shortfall, some 40,000 per year are in London and another 10,000 each in the East and South-East;

- the cumulative housing shortage since 2000 has reached 343,000 in London and 96,000 in the South-East;

- over a 25-year period, a home owner will end up between £100,000 and £300,000 richer than a renter;

- the report also claims that in London, the number of housing starts has gone backwards under Labour mayor Sadiq Khan. “There is also evidence that an increasing proportion of those homes that are being built are ending up in the hands of foreign buyers – and not just in the prime areas of Central London” says the Centre for Policy Studies.

The report welcomes the new attempt to encourage first time buyers by removing most of them from stamp duty, the report makes a series of proposals for speeding up the planning system and tilting its outcomes further towards first time buyers.

These include the merger of the Community Infrastructure Levy and Section 106 requirement for developments under 100 homes; the removal of the affordable housing requirement for developments under 20 units; “Pink Zones” in which development will be automatically approved within certain parameters; fast-track planning approval and dispute resolution; speeding up the disposal of public land; strengthening the Government’s ability to act on housing issues; and promoting “staircasing” agreements by which renters can gradually buy their homes over a period of years, at the initial price.

“The government has taken huge steps to increase homebuilding from the low of 125,000 a year left behind by Labour to nearly 200,000 today. But more needs to be done. We need to place home ownership at the front of the policy agenda and make sure that first time buyers get all the support possible to get onto the housing ladder” says Philp.

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