Responding to the Government’s announcement on changes to the National Planning Policy Framework, Lord Porter, Chairman of the Local Government Association, said:
“It is positive to see social rent retained in the definition of affordable housing – as called for by the LGA - although the definition should be clearer in separating social rent from ‘affordable’ rent which is often not accessible for people on lower incomes.
“It is also encouraging to see moves towards greater transparency in the planning system, and measures that try to resolve the challenges in negotiating the number of affordable homes through the viability process. However, the new proposals fail to give councils the powers they need to ensure homes with planning permission are built out quickly, with the necessary infrastructure, in their local communities.
“It is hugely disappointing that the Government has not listened to our concerns about nationally set housing targets, and will introduce a delivery test that punishes communities for homes not built by private developers. Councils work hard with communities to get support for good quality housing development locally, and there is a risk these reforms will lead to locally agreed plans being bypassed by national targets.
“Planning is not a barrier to housebuilding, and councils are approving nine out of 10 applications. To boost the supply of homes and affordability, it is vital to give councils powers to ensure homes with permission are built, enable all councils to borrow to build, keep 100 per cent of Right to Buy receipts and set discounts locally.”