Theresa May to urge developers to 'do their duty' and build more homes

Posted on Mar 5 2018 - 4:16pm by admin

The Prime Minister will challenge councils to do more to meet their residents’ needs, while developers with a record of sitting on unused land could miss out on future planning permissions.

In a speech in London she will say the national housing crisis is one of the biggest barriers to social mobility, with decades of failure causing shortages and higher house prices and rents.

In much of the country “housing is so unaffordable that millions of people who would reasonably expect to buy their own home are unable to do so”, she is expected to say.

“The result is a vicious circle from which most people can only escape with help from the Bank of Mum and Dad.

“If you are not lucky enough to have such support, the door to home ownership is all too often locked and barred.”

Mrs May will fondly recall how owning her first home with husband Philip gave them security and in turn made it easier to play an active role in their community and “have a stake in its future”.

The Government will seek to close the gap between planning permissions granted and new homes built, she will vow, and proposals to be consulted on include fast-tracking the system.

But she will add: “It’s also time for builders and developers to step up and do their bit. I expect developers to do their duty to Britain and build the homes our country needs.”

She will warn that basing some development chiefs’ bonuses on profits or share price, rather than homes built, provides a “perverse incentive” to keep house supply down and prices up.

Councils may also be allowed to consider a developer’s past rate of building when deciding new planning applications.

Mrs May will say: “I want to see planning permissions going to people who are actually going to build houses, not just sit on land and watch its value rise.”

She will pledge to protect the Green Belt and ancient woodland.

But she will also challenge councils to do all they can to get homes built, with the prospect of being able to earmark more affordable homes for key workers such as nurses, teachers and firefighters.

Housing Secretary Sajid Javid vowed to “breathe down the necks” of councils to ensure they met homebuilding targets, with the threat of losing their planning powers if they fail.

“We need a housing revolution. The new rules will no longer allow Nimby [not in my back yard] councils that don’t really want to build the homes that their local community needs to fudge the numbers,” said Mr Javid yesterday.

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