Housing minister Christopher Pincher, who has been in the role for less than a month, has revealed that his home is an example of what he calls “bad design” - and he wants today’s homebuilders not to repeat the mistake.
Pincher, addressed a planning conference, suggested that delegates might be wondering what he knew about planning given that he had been in his post for such a short time. He conceded that he may know little.
Then he went on: “But what I do know is a bit about is bad design. I live in a house which is very hot in the summer, very cold in the winter, the roof leaks like a sieve, and when I wanted to put a gas cooker into my kitchen at the back of the house the whole of the front of the house had to be dug up to put the piping in. Now, I can’t blame the developer and the planner for my house as it’s about 200 years old. But I know a bit about what bad design can mean for households and homeowners.”
In his speech Pincher told delegates that the government wanted to speed up the planning process, which is often regarded as a constraint on new homes.
“In 2010 only 17 per cent of local authorities had local plans in place. Now 90 per cent of local authorities have plans. There’s something like 2,600 groups involved with the neighbourhood planning process” said.
He went on to claim that government had put £22m into the Planning Delivery Fund to help local councils digitise their services and improve design, in order to reduce the volume of appeals.