Catalyst and other G15 members welcome the opportunity to comment on the government’s Planning for the Future white paper. We welcome the positive intent behind these proposals but have some concerns too.
The G15 fully supports any policy that ensures additional housing and additional affordable homes are provided in the right places, to meet more housing need.
The government’s proposals offer the potential to combine:
- Higher housing need figures in areas of the worst affordability pressures
- The use of growth zones to allow more homes to be delivered
- The use of renewal zones to allow substantial densification of suburban areas
- A fixed infrastructure levy which could reduce land prices and fund more affordable housing.
- It provides an opportunity to vastly increase the supply of new homes and new affordable homes for low rents.
But these proposals also offer the risk of combining:
- A rushed and under-resourced plan-making process
- An ill-devised zoning system without appropriate rules in place guaranteeing quality or placemaking
- The overhauling of a (for all its flaws) successful system of capturing land value and delivering affordable homes, and replacing it with a development tax that either makes schemes unviable, or reallocates revenue from low rent homes towards homeownership products that are unaffordable in most of the country
- The potential for the new system to prove counterproductive if significant modifications and amendments are required where it is found that legislation does not achieve the desired outcome.