Housing & Planning

Where next for housing reform?

Nimbys get a bad press. They live in attractive houses in expensive areas but want to deny that chance to others. They are a powerful lobby motivated by selfishness who often behave badly – check out the recent viral video of a local woman hurling abuse, and a chair, at Camden Councillors when a planning decision didn’t go her way. They have climbed up the housing ladder and grown rich on an asset boom that has more to do with Bank of England policy than hard work.

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Chesham and Amersham shows which parts of the Government’s planning reforms will work best

The Conservative Party have lost the Chesham and Amersham by-election: their majority of 16,223 at the 2019 election turned into a Lib Dem majority of 8,028. A cursory glance over the Liberal Democrats’ election literature suggests that they won by highlighting that various Conservatives oppose the Government’s planning reforms. While this might be true, it would be wrong to pronounce planning reform out for the count – the Planning Bill isn’t even published yet. Although early communications around reform may have been over-exuberant, what emerges at the end is likely to involve giving control over development to communities in ways that Amersham and Chesham voters would be much less concerned about.

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Place Matters

Place matters profoundly to people. We invest more resources in our homes than in anything else, and by some measures we spend more time gardening than we do on any other pastime. This is no less true of our shared home. Protecting the countryside from suburban sprawl has substantial costs in terms of foregone economic growth, but green belts are widely supported, and were introduced only after a huge grassroots campaign for them.

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Strong Suburbs

Britain needs more housing. But, so often, local residents justifiably believe that new housing in their area means a loss of public goods and amenities for them. This has led to a zero sum struggle where the debate is over who ought to be a winner and who ought to be a loser. Policy Exchange’s new paper Strong Suburbs cuts through that false dichotomy, providing a mechanism for local residents to benefit from, and control, new development.

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Helping Generation Rent become Generation Buy: 

This paper’s contribution to the housing policy debate is to outline the policies that are needed on the demand side. Too often, on the demand side, the Government’s policy interventions have resulted in higher house prices, exacerbating the challenge facing buyers. Now, there needs to be a shift away from direct interventions such as help to buy or temporary freezes in stamp duty, says Gerard Lyons.

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Latest Housing & Planning Publications

Place Matters

Place Matters

Place matters profoundly to people. We invest more resources in our homes than in anything else, and by some measures we spend more time gardening than we do on any other pastime. This is no less true of our shared home. Protecting the countryside from suburban sprawl has substantial costs in terms of foregone economic growth, but green belts are widely supported, and were introduced only after a huge grassroots campaign for them.

Strong Suburbs

Strong Suburbs

and

Britain needs more housing. But, so often, local residents justifiably believe that new housing in their area means a loss of public goods and amenities for them. This has led to a zero sum struggle where the debate is over who ought to be a winner and who ought to be a loser. Policy Exchange’s new paper Strong Suburbs cuts through that false dichotomy, providing a mechanism for local residents to benefit from, and control, new development.

Helping Generation Rent become Generation Buy: 

Helping Generation Rent become Generation Buy: 

This paper’s contribution to the housing policy debate is to outline the policies that are needed on the demand side. Too often, on the demand side, the Government’s policy interventions have resulted in higher house prices, exacerbating the challenge facing buyers. Now, there needs to be a shift away from direct interventions such as help to buy or temporary freezes in stamp duty, says Gerard Lyons.

Latest Housing & Planning Blogs

Where next for housing reform?

Where next for housing reform?

Nimbys get a bad press. They live in attractive houses in expensive areas but want to deny that chance to others. They are a powerful lobby motivated by selfishness who often behave badly – check out the recent viral video of a local woman hurling abuse, and a chair, at Camden Councillors when a planning decision didn’t go her way. They have climbed up the housing ladder and grown rich on an asset boom that has more to do with Bank of England policy than hard work.

Chesham and Amersham shows which parts of the Government’s planning reforms will work best

Chesham and Amersham shows which parts of the Government’s planning reforms will work best

The Conservative Party have lost the Chesham and Amersham by-election: their majority of 16,223 at the 2019 election turned into a Lib Dem majority of 8,028. A cursory glance over the Liberal Democrats’ election literature suggests that they won by highlighting that various Conservatives oppose the Government’s planning reforms. While this might be true, it would be wrong to pronounce planning reform out for the count – the Planning Bill isn’t even published yet. Although early communications around reform may have been over-exuberant, what emerges at the end is likely to involve giving control over development to communities in ways that Amersham and Chesham voters would be much less concerned about.

Poll finds public support for traditional hospital design

Poll finds public support for traditional hospital design

New public polling commissioned by Public Exchange has found a preference for traditional hospital design that favours natural light and private rooms.  This work in hospital design is part of a bigger project looking at the future of the hospital in Britain in the post COVID era, which will evaluate how new hospital building can better meet the needs of the NHS in the 21st century.

Latest Housing & Planning News

Policy Exchange sets out major planning reforms

Policy Exchange sets out major planning reforms

A major new Policy Exchange report has called for a complete overhaul of the planning system by the Government. The report was covered in The Times whose article said Policy Exchange’s proposals were being “seriously looked at” by the No 10 policy unit. It was also featured in The Sun, ConservativeHome and on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.

Boris Johnson sets out the vision for his Premiership

Boris Johnson sets out the vision for his Premiership

Boris Johnson set out his vision for the United Kingdom on the steps of Downing Street yesterday – in the course of which he embraced many of the ideas championed by Policy Exchange in our series of policy proposals for the next Prime Minister.

Building Beautiful Places puts Prince’s vision into practice

Building Beautiful Places puts Prince’s vision into practice

A day after HRH the Prince of Wales issued a call for action for “the creation and regeneration of genuinely beautiful places” – in a report that cited our research five times – Policy Exchange published a report that puts the Prince’s vision into practice to help solve the housing crisis.

Latest Housing & Planning Events

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  • Tuesday, 20 July, 2021
    13:30 - 14:30

‘Building Beautiful Places’ with Rt Hon Robert Jenrick MP, Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, Nicholas Boys Smith Chair of Transition Board, Office for Place and Director, Create Streets and Joanna Averley Chief Planner, Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government. With a Q&A Chaired by Dean Godson, Director, Policy Exchange.

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  • Monday, 3 June, 2019
    9:00 - 10:00

Rt Hon James Brokenshire MP gave a speech at Policy Exchange sharing ideas on how to cultivate stronger communities and help people onto the housing ladder, including the possibility of drawing from pension pots for a deposit.

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  • Thursday, 25 April, 2019
    13:00 - 14:00

A panel discussion to consider whether the Government should support a modern generation of New Towns.

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  • Tuesday, 2 April, 2019
    13:30 - 14:30

How can more people be provided a beautiful place to call home? Pioneered by the work of John Ruskin, British Socialists have long had a vision for answering this question. In this panel debate we asked what that vision is today – and how beauty can be for the many, not the few.

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  • Monday, 19 November, 2018
    18:00 - 20:30

Architects should “stop being so defensive” and try to design houses that turn Nimbys into Slimbys (“something lovely in my backyard”), said Kit Malthouse MP, Housing Minister, at our Building More, Building Beautiful Conference – which brought together architects, planners, housebuilders politicians and journalists to discuss design and style in housebuilding. He praised Policy Exchange for “seizing the zeitgeist yet again”.

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  • Thursday, 1 November, 2018
    12:30 - 14:00

As part of Building Beautiful Month, the Syrian architect and author Marwa Al-Sabouni spoke at Policy Exchange on “The Loss of Home”. Marwa appeared in conversation with Sir Roger Scruton and was introduced by Tom Tugendhat MP.

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  • Monday, 2 July, 2018
    9:00 - 10:30

The new Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government set out his priorities for making the housing market work. In his first speech on housing Rt Hon James Brokenshire MP outlined his vision for strengthening communities and building the homes Britain needs.

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  • Thursday, 7 September, 2017
    18:00 - 19:30

A discussion with John Godfrey (Former Director of Policy at No 10), Fraser Nelson (Editor of the Spectator), Terrie Alafat (The Chartered Institute of Housing), Phillip Barnes (Barratt Developments Plc), and Susan Emmett (Head of Policy Exchange’s Housing Unit).

Venue:  

Address:
Lecture Theatre, Institute of Mechanical Engineers, One Birdcage Walk, Westminster, London, SW1H 9JJ, United Kingdom

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