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16 February 2017

The Housing White Paper: what's new?

The long awaited White Paper, entitled 'Fixing our broken housing market', finally emerged from DCLG on February 7th. It signals the government's direction of travel under Theresa May, with an emphasis on a fairer Britain supporting the hard working for whom housing has become increasing unaffordable. Consultation on some of the key proposals closes on 2 May 2017.

The Prime Minister's foreword highlights some key statistics. Average housing costs stand at almost eight times average earnings. The proportion of those living in private rented accommodation has doubled since 2000. More than 2.2 million working households with below-average incomes spend a third or more of their disposable income on housing, making it a struggle to save for a deposit or retirement. The starting point, she says, is to build more homes to slow the rise in housing costs and bring the cost of renting down. More houses, of the right type, in the right place.

Gentle evolution not revolution is the order of the day. The plan-led system remains intact, but up-to-date plans must be put in place. Communities must be comfortable with how new homes look. Permissions must be built out quickly. The planning system will be invested in. Smaller house builders, housing associations, local authorities building houses and new investors will all be supported, as will innovative construction methods. All welcome aims. But does the White Paper do enough to overcome the fundamental tensions between pursuing extensive housing growth, whilst preserving the green belt and giving control to local communities?

Please follow the link to find out more about the White Paper.

The Planning Edit: what's new for the plan making process

The Planning Edit: planning to meet housing need

The Planning Edit: optimising the use of land

The Plannning Edit: bringing forward schemes

The Planning Edit: what else do I need to know

This article was written by Claire Fallows, Head of Planning, for more information please contact Claire on +44(0)20 7427 1046 or