Conservative Party Conference: Where next for planning?
Conservative Party Conference: Where next for planning?

Since Robert Jenrick was appointed Secretary of State for Housing in July, he’s made no secret of his ambition to ‘liberalise and improve the planning system.’ Jenrick’s speech at the Conservative Party Conference on Monday offered a mixed bag of proposals.

In a welcome move, the government has published a new national design guide which sets out the characteristics of well-designed places. But government is also proposing to move ahead with planning deregulation that will make enforcing these new standards … Read more

We must call time on permitted development rights for new housing
We must call time on permitted development rights for new housing

Planning reform is on government’s agenda. The new Housing Secretary, Robert Jenrick, has said he’s interested in ‘ways in which we can further liberalise and improve the planning system’.

In the launch of our housing planning blog series last week, we set out why we want to see planning reforms that will deliver high-quality social housing at scale within well-planned neighbourhoods. However, we also outlined why planning reform in the form of deregulation is not the way forward.

Our planning … Read more

The government's housing paradox
The government's housing paradox

In his first week as Prime Minister, Boris Johnson has already promised to invest in housing – but we need quality as well as quantity.

The new administration is likely to continue with Theresa May’s ambition build at least 300,000 new homes a year; and with 222,000 new homes delivered last year, they are making some progress. But worryingly, it is beginning to look like this drive for high numbers in net additions is impacting on the quality of homes … Read more

Quality versus quantity: are permitted development rights really the answer to the housing crisis?
Quality versus quantity: are permitted development rights really the answer to the housing crisis?

All too often life is turned into a numbers game – and housing is no exception. The government has committed to building 300,000 homes per year by the mid-2020s, but what we build and how we do it should not be overlooked.

At the Chartered Institute of Housing’s Annual Conference, Theresa May called for new regulations to improve the design and quality of buildings in order to prevent tiny, poor quality homes from being developed.

This is all well and … Read more

Permitted development scandal: homeless families put at risk
Permitted development scandal: homeless families put at risk

In the last few weeks, the controversial permitted development system has been receiving renewed media attention. This is partly because Labour, in a welcome move, have now pledged to scrap permitted development rights for the delivery of new homes.

This pledge comes off the back of reports last year, which highlighted the small, poor quality homes coming through the permitted development system, and a get-out clause that exempts schemes from providing vital social and affordable housing.

But, recent coverage of … Read more

Spring Statement: the housing announcements you weren’t supposed to see
Spring Statement: the housing announcements you weren’t supposed to see

Last week’s Spring Statement didn’t deliver much for housing.

The Chancellor’s announcement that £3 billion worth of government guarantees for loans to build 30,000 ‘affordable’ homes received plenty of positive coverage. But truly affordable social homes can’t be built on borrowing alone.

Government guarantees won’t go very far towards a solution for our housing crisis unless cheaper borrowing is accompanied by serious investment in capital grants for social housing at the next spending review (which we called for at the launch Read more

Office to residential conversions under permitted development rights
Office to residential conversions under permitted development rights

Guest blog by Julia Park, Levitt Bernstein

If there are people who are ideologically opposed to the conversion of redundant office buildings to residential use, I’ve yet to meet them. The idea of adapting buildings that are no longer needed (or no longer fit) for their original purpose to a suitable alternative use is nothing new – and makes perfect sense. And it’s even better if that alternative use is housing, given the numbers we need.

That was undoubtedly part … Read more

Revealed – the true scale of affordable housing lost to permitted development rights
Revealed – the true scale of affordable housing lost to permitted development rights

New analysis sheds light on the impact of a social housing get out clause in England. Our research estimates that urban authorities have missed out on over 10,000 affordable homes between 2015-16 and 2017-18.

In 2018, Theresa May promised a ‘new generation of council homes to help fix our broken housing market’. We welcome this, and the announcement of an additional £2 billion for housing associations to help deliver on it. With just under 6,500 socially rented houses delivered in … Read more

Raynsford Review calls for ambitious planning reform
Raynsford Review calls for ambitious planning reform
What is the Raynsford Review?

Earlier this month, the Raynsford Review of Planning was released by the Town and Country Planning Association (TCPA). This review, chaired by former planning minister Nick Raynsford, was given the crucial task of examining the state of the planning system in England, recommending how it can be transformed to deliver the homes, infrastructure and places our communities need.

Shelter fights for the provision of high-quality, genuinely affordable homes across the country, in particular social-rented homes. … Read more

No more social housing get-out clauses
No more social housing get-out clauses

As the Autumn budget announcements were only beginning to be digested a few weeks ago, the government released a consultation that contained substantial and largely troubling proposals for the future supply of social housing.

The consultation proposes a range of ideas to reform planning rules, including a welcome proposal to give councils more freedom over how they use their own land. This would allow councils to hold onto their land and use it to build desperately-needed social homes, where the … Read more

Permitted development: At what cost for the delivery of well-sized and genuinely affordable housing?

Last week, The Guardian ran a piece on a controversial conversion of offices into flats through permitted development rights (PDR). This article highlighted significant concerns about the tiny and sub-standard homes that are arising from the permitted development system.

Another issue, which we have previously flagged, relates to the non-existent contributions that these conversions are making to delivering genuinely affordable housing in England.

With flats as small as 13 square metres being created out of old office blocks, where we … Read more

Permitted Development Rights: A wolf in sheep’s clothing?
Permitted Development Rights: A wolf in sheep’s clothing?

Figures on net additional dwellings

On Tuesday, the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) released their latest figures on the number of net additional dwellings for 2015/16. Since 2012/13, the number of new net dwellings has been steadily increasing year-on-year – this year the figure stands at 189,650. This is encouraging (although we still have not broken 200,000 net additional dwellings in any year since the Global Financial Crisis of 2007/8).

 

Source: DCLG

Permitted Development Rights: What are Read more