Two Gaps in Planning – Delivery and Regulatory

RTPI Dr Michael Harris

‘Planning reform’ was never going to resolve the housing crisis, because ‘planning restrictions’ were never its cause.

As the title of the UK Government’s White Paper “Fixing Our Broken Housing Market” (February 2017) suggests, we’ve overlooked the complex range of reasons why we aren’t building enough homes.

…the fact that the ongoing gap between housing supply and demand is equivalent to the house building that used to be done by local authorities before the 1980s.

Looked at this way, the solution to housing crisis may not actually be that complex: we need local authorities to build more houses.

If that is the solution where?  If it simply on the inadequate land zoned for housing it won’t solve the crisis.  Housing will be more affordable, and with land value capture it may both be more affordable and fund infrastructure, but it wont be enough and may simply displace private house building making market housing more expensive.

Both sufficient land zoned for housing in the right place and mechanism for delivery, included increased public sector land holding and building, are needed to solve the housing crisis and fix the broken housing market.  Both are necessary but not sufficient.  Any one focussing on just one is being defensive, housebuilders for their oligopoly and under delivery, and the RTPI for suggesting Planners (as opposed to Planners under political direction) is not part of the problem.

Hence a complete solution to the housing crisis must address both the spatial gap (where) and the delivery gap (who and how funded.  Only an integrated solution – such as Garden Cities/New Towns can do so.

One thought on “Two Gaps in Planning – Delivery and Regulatory

  1. Reblogged this on Roger Gambba-Jones and commented:
    Plenty of answers around from experts such as Andrew and the author of this piece. However, weak and now weakens politicians are incapable of grasping the nettle. They continue to bend to their own internal self interests and those the ones who support their ambitions , both as politicians and professionally.

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