The Housing White Paper: a job half done

The highly anticipated Housing White Paper released last week may have proved to be a bit of a disappointment for anyone expecting radical changes; however there are some points which are worth considering in the battle against the housing crisis.

Introduction of a £3bn fund dedicated to helping smaller house builders challenge larger developers, including support for pre-fabricated and modular housing.

Enabling smaller house builders to challenge for available land would surely help speed up the development of housing to meet the governments housing target by sharing the load.

Factories that would pre manufacture our homes would also provide more stable full time work for our skilled trades and may encourage more people to follow a career in construction, as well as bringing innovation to the housing sector.

Instructions to protect the green belt, which can only be built on in “exceptional circumstances”.

Could more be done to encourage house builders to build on brownfield land?

By helping remove some of the barriers that are currently in place and making the process easier, this could help house builders feel more confident in tackling these sites and turning them into a profitable venture.

More needs to be done to ensure wasted brownfield and public land is used first, to ensure our green belt land is left protected for as long as possible.

Set targets with penalties for local planning authorities to make up-to-date plans that meet the projected growth for the area.

It is important that local councils are given more authority over planning to ensure that housing reflects the needs of the community without the micro-managing that took place before. Offering support to local councils and simplifying the planning process could help house builders’ access land more quickly.

On reflection, there appears to be a lot of well-intentioned ‘suggestions’ in the Housing White Paper without any kind of action or enforcement to ensure that change takes place. Alongside the ever growing skills shortage, is this a risk the housing industry can afford to take?

Let us know what you think in the comments below.

For further reading:

Read the 106 page Housing White Paper here

Summary of points from Property Week

More comments from the industry from Brownfield Briefing here

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