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Housing & Planning Publications
This report finds that Town Centre First, a policy intended to support the high street by limiting out-of-town shopping centres, has decreased competition between retailers, damaged the social fabric of communities and caused price rises of at least £1,000 a year for the average household. Town Centre First should be replaced with an ‘Access First’ policy, focussed on giving low income households access to social and retail hubs, but not restricting where these retail centres should be built.
Councils that fail to hit their own housing targets should have to release land to local people who want to design their own homes. The government could use this self-build model to ensure that councils hit their housebuilding targets, doubling the amount of new homes to over 200,000 by 2014 and giving the construction sector a much needed shot in the arm.
Create Streets shows how demolishing high rise social housing blocks and replacing them with real streets made up of low rise flats and terraced housing would improve the lives of thousands of people who suffer from living in multi-storey housing.
Planning for Less shows that councils are planning to build 272,720 fewer new homes since the abolition of regional planning. The report argues that rather than fighting councils the government should now work with them to ensure that they actually deliver the homes their targets propose.
Why Aren’t We Building Enough Attractive Homes: Myths, misunderstandings and solutions shows how large developers are ‘playing’ an outdated planning system and fooling the government into potentially wasting taxpayers’ money propping up land prices. The report recommends wholesale changes to the planning system to end ‘land banking’, give local people planning control and get more good new homes built.
Selling expensive social housing as it becomes vacant could create the largest social house building programme since the 1970s. The sales would raise £4.5 billion annually which could be used to build 80,000-170,000 new social homes a year and create 160,000-340,000 jobs a year in the construction industry.
Cities for Growth sets out how reforming planning laws and the development of new ‘Garden Cities’ can both solve our housing crisis and boost economic growth.
More Homes: Fewer Empty Buildings proposes that, as part of a strategy for growth, the government should reform the Use Classes Order to make it much easier to move buildings and land from Use Classes A (retail) and B (employment) to C3 (dwelling houses).
Planning Curses shows how despite efforts to streamline planning, vital projects are not going ahead because of over-elaborate and unrealistic economic predictions.
Housing People; Financing Housing recommends that housing associations should be set free to raise money through methods like equity investment. This so-called “equitisation” could raise £30 billion and build an extra 100,000 new homes a year.