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Graham Awards


Tories set to allow more homes through relaxed planning laws

Briefings from the Conservative Party to The Sun newspaper suggest that the party will this week announce further relaxation in planning regulations aimed at the creation of more homes.

Few specifics are set out but The Sun says: “Under the new rules, most house owners can add two more storeys to their buildings without having to make a planning application. The ministers will argue that Britain’s cities have one of the lowest average heights of housing in the Western world, and that building upwards will create a huge amount of living space immediately.”

As well, it claims “builders will no longer need permission to demolish a commercial property and replace it with homes.”


The newspaper also suggests that where there are existing developments on Green Belt land, such as transport hubs, additional housing may be permitted.

The Sun says these reforms were wanted by Chancellor Sajid Javid when he was Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government - but he apparently was not given the go ahead by then-Prime Minister Theresa May. 

  • Russell Quirk

    The planning process isn’t really the issue. The bottleneck is the developers that throttle supply despite having planning permission.
    Currently, around 600,000 plots are land banked by the top 10 house builders and whom decide on a whim what they build and where based upon shareholder value rather than overall need.
    Supply of homes, especially affordable homes, must be tackled differently rather than it being at the behest of a handful of housing developers and whom will never build more than their forward P&L forecast dictates.


    Whist that appears true on the face of it, its the same failed logic as the fee bans. I sell large plots to developers and I can tell just from common sense that if they built them all at once..1) they'd never sell them, 2) Wage rates would soar for 2 years then plummet, 3) Just because the sites have consent doesn't mean the build conditions are met does it; These often take years to meet. 4) Study the EU directive on nitrogen / nutrient making building impossible in many areas.

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    • 30 September 2019 08:24 AM

    Developers behave exactly in accordance with best business practice for themselves.
    They are capitalist businesses and as such are clearly NOT going to do anything which reduces their profits.
    Only State intervention will build what is required.
    That means subsidy by Govt.
    Developers need to be incentivised to build that which would not be profitable enough for them.
    Developers can hardly be blamed for behaving like a proper business should.


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