Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Let us solve rural housing crisis, say landowners

December 23, 2019 by  
Filed under Property

Landowners have urged the government to let them help solve the housing crisis – arguing that the planning system must be reformed to stop holding the country back.

“For years politicians have complained about the housing crisis while ignoring the fact that the answer is right under their noses,” said Country Land and Business Association president Mark Bridgeman.

“If just ten homes were built in every village the housing crisis in rural communities would be eased considerably. Landowners are wanting to help but are being put off by endless bureaucracy, spiraling costs and a lack of planning officers.”

Landowners wanted to build homes to keep their communities strong and provide quality housing for local people, said Mr Bridgeman.

Quality housing

“They spend tens of thousands of pounds on planning applications, but extensive delays and constant knock backs from planning officers means they give up, much to the detriment of the local and national economy.”

The government’s target is to build 300,000 new homes every year. But the CLA says fewer than 200,000 homes were built between 2017 and 2018. The need for more housing will only grow with an expected 2m rise in the UK population 2030, said Mr Bridgeman.

“Rather than representing a barrier to growth, the planning system should enable and enhance the delivery of developments in rural communities. The government must decide what it wants the planning system to deliver and then provide adequate resources to achieve those aims.

Mr Bridgeman added: “A simpler and better-resourced planning system would restore confidence in decisions and encourage more applications to come forward, unlocking the potential of the rural economy.”

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