Government White Paper sets out housing plans

The government's new housing strategy for England has received a resounding vote of no confidence from opposition parties, housing campaigners - and a former Tory housing minister.

Keith Boyfield, a co-author of the Pink Planning series, says "We particularly welcome the invitation in the Housing White Paper for comments on our ideas relating to streamlined planning procedures which we term "Pink Zones" (A.58, Page 84)".

New measures to reduce the obstacles to new house building and improve affordability for buyers and tenants have been announced by the UK Government in a much awaited Housing White Paper.

The Government then seems to have grasped the scale.

Affordable rent: Government has opened up its Affordable Homes Programme to the rental sector.

England's housing market is broken, the government has admitted, with home ownership a "distant dream" for today's young families, as it unveiled a white paper promising a fresh wave of home building. Now, 10% of all developments will have to consist of "affordable home ownership" units.

"Ministers will say they want to change planning and other rules to ensure developers provide a proportion of new homes for "affordable rent" instead of just insisting that they provide a quota of "affordable homes for sale" says the newspaper.

From November 2017, if housing delivery falls below 95 per cent of an authority's annual housing requirement, the government wants the local authority to publish an action plan.

In other measures created to crackdown on "landbanking", the Government has reduced the time allowed between planning permission being granted and the start of building from three to two years.

The government will support areas in the greatest need by prioritising them for infrastructure investments, while all authorities will be encouraged to use land more efficiently by avoiding low density builds and building upwards in popular areas or where land is in short supply. "Young people, faces pressed against the estate agent's window, trying and failing to find a home they can afford", he said.

Communities secretary Sajid Javid told the House of Commons that average house prices have jumped to 7.5 times average incomes and rents in many places swallow more than half of take-home pay. In an effort to keep his Conservative Party onside, Javid said the government will continue to prohibit house building on rural "greenbelt" land that surrounds urban areas. It estimates that now around 60% of new homes are built by just 10 companies.

The Department for Communities and Local Government said the plans would tackle "the serious and growing gap between the number of planning permissions granted and the number of new homes completed".

To help first-time buyers, the White Paper will include plans for a new Lifetime ISA to help first-time buyers save for a deposit, and extends Right to Buy discounts to housing association tenants.

He said the government had not given up making home ownership available to all.

It is also working with the British Property Federation and the National Housing Federation to ensure that "family friendly" tenancies of three or more years are available for renters wanting longer-term tenancies.