We would like to see a fully revised and implemented national planning system, with a focus on a presumption in favour of sustainable development.
Government policy needs to take into account the long waiting lists that already exist for affordable housing and find solutions that do not lose this tenure to the private market. Regeneration funding through Homes England would also be of use.
The current market conditions are extremely challenging for the delivery of affordable housing.
Costs, values and rents are spiraling. Land is scarce and expensive, with competition for its purchase at unprecedented levels, while competition from the private sector makes recruitment difficult.
Understandably there are concerns about the replacement of S106 and the impact this would have on delivery of affordable homes as detailed in the Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill. It is positive to see a framework included in the Bill which gives an assurance that the level of affordable housing currently gained through developer contributions will be the same or higher under the proposed new Infrastructure Levy.
It is vitally important that the replacing S106 does not hamper the delivery of affordable housing and hope the government’s ‘test and learn’ approach to implementation will ensure this commitment is achieved.
Achieving a planning permission is harder now than in the previous 20 years. We are concerned this could become more difficult with the new policy framework and certain proposed planning reforms.