Responding to today’s DCLG announcement on the consultation for assessing housing need, Cllr Martin Tett, the LGA’s Housing spokesman, said;
“Councils know that the only way to tackle our housing crisis is to build more homes, and the right types of homes needed for our communities. Councils already approve nine in 10 planning permissions, but are often frustrated when approved homes aren’t built quickly enough.
“There could be benefits to having a standard approach to assessing the need for housing, but a formula drawn up in Whitehall can never fully understand the complexity and unique needs of local housing markets, which vary significantly from place to place. It is crucial that councils and communities can lead new development in their areas.
“Our residents are clear – new homes in their communities have to be affordable, high-quality, and supported by adequate infrastructure and sustainable local services. The only way to do this is to make sure that councils, who are closest to the communities they serve, have the powers and funding they need to deliver homes that are right for their local area.
“This means powers to make sure developers build out approved homes in a timely fashion, adequately funding planning departments so that they can cover the cost of processing applications, and freeing councils to borrow to build quality new homes communities want and need.
“Ultimately we need a renaissance in council house building if we’re to deliver the affordable homes this country needs – national ambitions will not be realised without new freedoms and powers for councils.”Follow