Labour’s Planning Lead, Councillor Nick Childs, on the government’s disastrous new planning ‘white paper’ and its impact on affordable housing, in Brighton & Hove News:
“…Our council housing team work tirelessly to help residents in need. Under Labour in 2019-20 more council homes were commissioned than in recent memory. Our “City Plan Part 2” introduced proposals for even stricter affordability quotas although restrained by national regulations.
“Yet we cannot magic sufficient numbers of good affordable homes out of thin air when faced with a perfect storm of lack of land, insufficient government funding and existing Tory planning regulations that allow greedy developers to provide paltry amounts of affordable homes while making a fortune from our city.
“To address the crisis, we must build genuinely affordable homes at unprecedented rates. Yet the government’s current “developer friendly” white paper on planning would curtail even the most modest action currently possible.
“Current planning regulations already prohibit the council from requiring many developers to provide affordable homes and those provided are often not genuinely affordable.
“Tory planning regulations define affordable at 80 per cent of market rate, a cruelly comical figure in Brighton and Hove where house prices are so high.
“Developers can often avoid requirements to provide affordable homes through an array of loopholes in planning laws.
“As if the current framework were not bad enough, it seems as though the Tories are once again legislating for their property developer donors as part of a wider attempt to rip up the, albeit weakened, planning framework established by the post-war Labour government…”
Read Councillor Childs’ full article in Brighton & Hove News: https://www.brightonandhovenews.org/2021/01/13/the-government-white-paper-on-planning-spells-disaster-for-affordable-housing-in-brighton-and-hove/
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