Andy Morris, managing director for Hayfield, said: “The current government previously put forward plans for ‘the most radical reform to our planning system since the Second World War. This was to give the UK a fighting chance of progressing towards the government’s own target of 300,000 new homes per year – a target which continually fails to be delivered. However, both planning reform and the mandate to drive 300,000 new homes per year appears to have now been watered down, after the complexity and political sensitivity of doing so has been realised. This is only likely to worsen in the short term given recent statements from both Conservative leadership contenders.
“The planning system needs to remain democratic and inclusive, but must be depoliticised, particularly planning committee meetings where professional planning officer recommendations to approve are regularly being overturned by members. These decisions are often successfully appealed, leading only to delay, frustration, and a great unnecessary cost burden for local government to absorb.”
Andy Morris, managing director for Hayfield, said: “The industry could make a much greater commitment to MMC, which - as we are seeing - directly speeds up output. Equally, greater investment in good quality design and sustainable specification and technologies could help to increase delivery. Hayfield’s corporate commitment to deliver zero carbon ready homes across all sites ensures building regulation requirements and the Future Homes Standard are exceeded across every local authority. Exemplary design and product quality should enable the planning system to operate as efficiently as it can do, despite its constraints.”
Andy Morris, managing director for Hayfield, said: “The local plan process needs to be simplified and accelerated to ensure allocated sites can be delivered sooner. However, this will require an overhaul of current procedure, not a requirement to do better without improving the system. Any suggestion though that removing a council’s need to demonstrate a five-year housing land requirement if their plan is up to date will not provide sufficient incentive for a council to do so. Similarly, this will then significantly reduce housing output where plans are up to date, but still failing.”