As yesterdays blog showed and as many of the issues we have commented on for many, many a year, have shown, housing developers have one purpose in life, to support housing developers. Meeting housing need is as it were a consequence not the primary objective.
There are innumerable defects in the current set up for delivering housing whether in terms of flawed ‘waiting lists’, incorrect housing completion data or reasons for housing need, but lets concentrate on the role of developers.
The issue appears to be – are developers a means of providing housing or is housing a means to justify developers doing as they wish?
What is clear is that both the current planning system and housing policy serve the interests of developers rather those of the general public. This disparity needs to be addressed.
We need a reversal of roles whereby a local authority can determine which land can be developed, what the development consist of and then which developer can work on the site. In essence an agreement would be reached on developing a site whereby the developer would be paid a fee for carrying out the work. There would be no element of planning gain or calculating how much affordable housing should be provided.
Houses might be built to be sold on the open market or purely as affordable housing. This would require a sea-change in policy with public funding made available for building housing. For those who argue against the alleged cost of funding through the public purse, it would be more efficient and cost effective than continuing with the current flawed system.