Mortgage Advice Bureau comments on the planning reforms in the HM Treasury ‘Fixing the Foundations’ report

Andy Frankish, New Homes Director at Mortgage Advice Bureau (MAB), comments:

“Today’s announcement marks a definitive step towards overcoming the ineffective planning laws that prevent healthy levels of housebuilding. It is good to see that the government has again acknowledged the extent of Britain’s housing shortage: demand has long outstripped supply, and the affordability problems faced by first time buyers are at risk of becoming acute.”

“Proposals to bypass local council when granting planning permission for brownfield cites are long overdue. With such severe shortages of housing stock across the country, it is ludicrous that brownfields sites remain underutilised, and granting automatic permission is a common sense approach. The question over whether there is enough brownfield land to support Britain’s housing needs is a valid one. Although greenbelt land is rightly protected, in certain circumstances – such as when it is adjacent to brownfield sites – development on the greenbelt may be necessary.”

“By devolving planning power to large metropolitan authorities in London and Manchester, local authorities will have more influence over housing development in the area and ensure this best suits the needs of its constituents. The question now is how long it will take the government to implement these changes: action must be taken as soon as possible if we are to stave off a worsening housing crisis.”