HBA: Planning reform is vital for rural communities

According to the Sunday Times, the chancellor of the Exchequer is preparing to announce far-reaching changes to housing and planning policy in his budget speech, which will take place on 22 November.

These changes, which are allegedly being pushed by Sajid Javid and David Gauke, include allowing local authorities to borrow money in order to finance housebuilding and loosening planning restrictions on green belt land. 

After the Prime Minister’s conference speech on 4 October, the House Builders Association (HBA) emphasised that only radical reform of the planning process will put the country in a position to solve the current housing crisis.

Rico Wojtulewicz, policy advisor for the HBA, commented:

“Even though the broken planning system remains a substantial barrier to housebuilding at a local level, loosening green belt planning restrictions and lifting the borrowing cap on councils would certainly help to increase the supply of new homes.

Wojtulewicz continued:

“Nobody wants to see green spaces disappear, but rural communities are dying because young people can neither afford to live nor find work where they grew up. Ensuring that they will be able to live and work locally requires building more homes and – as the predominant rural employers – enabling construction SMEs to play an active role in this strategy.”