The planning system remains the biggest barrier to housing delivery and significant reform is needed to unlock sites. Delays in bringing forward planning reform have had a knock-on effect on housing delivery across the country. Local authorities need clarity on how housing need is calculated to enable the production of Local Plans and support development in the right places, at the right time. Resourcing continues to be a significant challenge for local authority planning departments, and increased funding should be a priority.
The UK has been slow to innovate compared with other G7 nations but modern methods of construction (MMC), including mass produced modular components are now increasingly being recognised as key both to speeding up housing delivery and to providing better quality more energy efficient homes.
Alongside this, the construction sector needs to work collaboratively with government to deliver long-term, fundamental change through innovation and improvements in construction methods and materials. This will be essential to delivering on the UK’s net zero commitments.
We would encourage the government to support and promote the delivery of different housing tenures and types within the same area or on the same development site, to cater for people with different needs, priorities, ages and budgets.
There continues to be a shortfall in fit-for-purpose accommodation for older people, and demand is only set to increase. This can have significant implications for health and wellbeing, foster a sense of detachment from the community, and inhibit independent living in later life. At the same time many younger people and those on lower incomes are priced out of the local market.
The Build to Rent sector continues to grow and provide good quality rental homes for an increasingly broad selection of society, from families to key workers, young professionals, and downsizers.