New Homes Week Releases ‘Planning for Economic Failure’ Report
We’re supporting the New Homes Week campaign with a series of short blogs. In this instalment, we’re recapping on The Home Builders Federation’s (HBF) shocking new report, one which is sure to increase pressure on the government to reconsider their recent reforms.
Titled ‘Planning for Economic Failure’, the report explores the implications of recent government reforms of the planning system. These range from a reduction in housing supply by as much as half, a loss of approximately 400,000 jobs and significant consequences for the UK economy, with over £20 billion less economic activity being generated.
Such implications, argues HBF, will deepen both the housing crisis and intergenerational inequalities. It is time for action and this report should act as a catalyst for change.
To understand the predictions made, the report cites the following issues as the main reasons for the collapse in housing supply:
As evidenced by research carried out by Lichfields, for HBF and The Land Promoters & Developers Federation (LPDF), recent changes made to planning policy could result in a drop of 77,000 homes a year. This has already led 47 local authorities to pause their local plan-making processes.
Natural England’s moratorium on housebuilding in over a quarter of local authority areas has already resulted in 120,000 homes being put on hold.
Although the majority of nitrate found in waterways is caused by agricultural practices and wastewater treatment facilities not being upgraded, the finger remains pointed at homebuilders.
This is in spite of the fact that the homebuilding industry has paid an estimated £3 billion to water companies to upgrade their systems to help alleviate the nitrogen level issue over the past 30 years.
The new report demonstrates that, in addition to the estimated 120,000 homes already blocked, a further 41,000 homes a year will now not come forward if workable solutions are not implemented.
Unfortunately, further issues risen by Natural England have blocked development in other areas around the country.
Parts of Sussex have become no development zones due to water neutrality concerns, and the long-term prospects of an aquatic snail.
Natural England has put measures in places to prevent new homes being built within 15km of natural beauty spots or national parks, in an attempt to preserve these areas.
There are also consultations taking place about plans to impose restrictions on the development of properties where they may lead to residents driving close to beauty spots and generating air pollution. Sadly this plan continues despite all new homes having EV charging points as standard since 2022.
The housing crisis looks set to continue amidst the findings of this report. So much so, argues HBF, that our country could soon be facing the lowest ever annual supply of houses in peacetime history.
With such stark findings, this report could prompt Natural England to make certain concessions. Likewise, with pressure also mounting from the opposing party, the government might soon find themselves in a very difficult position if they refuse to reconsider these recent reforms.
You can find out more about all of these issues, and read more news from the New Homes Week Campaign, here.