Javid Publishes Hit list of 15 Councils where SoS will Intervene if they Dont Submit by end Jan 2018





Castle Point,




North East Derbyshire,



St Albans,



and York.

Writte Statement

On 7 February we published our Housing White Paper in which we made clear that the housing market in this country is broken, and the cause is very simple: for too long, we haven’t built enough homes. We have identified three systemic problems: not enough local authorities planning for the homes they need; house building that is simply too slow; and a construction industry that is too reliant on a small number of big players.

Up-to-date plans, including local plans, are essential because they provide clarity to communities and developers about where homes should be built and where not, so that development is planned rather than the result of speculative applications. At present too few places have an up-to-date plan.

On 21 July 2015 we made a Written Ministerial Statement to the House on this same subject. At that point 82 per cent of authorities had published a Local Plan under the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004 regime. Today that figure stands at 92 per cent.

In the 13 years that have passed since the 2004 Act received Royal Assent, over 70 local planning authorities have yet to adopt a plan and of those 27 authorities still have failed to reach the publication stage. I am particularly concerned about the 15 local planning authorities that have recently either failed the duty to cooperate or failed to meet the deadlines set out in their Local Development Schemes, the public timetable that all local planning authorities are required to put in place.

I am therefore writing today to the local planning authorities of:

Basildon, Brentwood, Bolsover, Calderdale, Castle Point, Eastleigh, Liverpool, Mansfield, North East Derbyshire, Northumberland, Runnymede, St Albans, Thanet, Wirral and York.

These letters will start the formal process of intervention we set out in the Housing White Paper. We set out that we will prioritise intervention where:

  • the least progress in plan-making has been made
  • policies in plans had not been kept up to date
  • there was higher housing pressure; and
  • intervention would have the greatest impact in accelerating Local Plan production

We also made clear that decisions on intervention will also be informed by the wider planning context in each area (specifically, the extent to which authorities are working cooperatively to put strategic plans in place, and the potential impact that not having a plan has on neighbourhood planning activity).

I am writing today to give the local authorities the opportunity to put forward any exceptional circumstances, by 31 January 2018, which, in their view, justify their failure to produce a Local Plan under the 2004 Act regime. I will take responses received into account before any final decisions on intervention are taken.

The remaining authorities who are not making progress on their plan-making and fail to publish a plan for consultation, submit a plan to examination or to keep policies in plans up to date are on notice that consistent failure to make sufficient progress will no longer be tolerated. My Department will begin formally considering the case for intervention as deadlines are missed.

We will also bring forward the important provisions we legislated for earlier in the year through the Neighbourhood Planning Act 2017. I will shortly lay the Regulations under section 12 to prescribe that local planning authorities must review their plans every five years.

We will also shortly be commencing Section 8 of the Neighbourhood Planning Act 2017 which will place a requirement on all local planning authorities to have plans in place for their area which set out their strategic policies. Those strategic priorities are set out at paragraph 156 of the National Planning Policy Framework.

As we set out in July 2015 we recognise that production of Local Plans is resource intensive. On 19 October 2017 we laid the regulations which, subject to approval of both Houses, will bring forward our White Paper commitment to increase planning fees by 20%. This delivers on our commitment to increase resources for local planning authorities where they commit to invest the additional fee income in their planning department. All local planning authorities in England have given this commitment. We will shortly announce details of the £25m of funding to help local authorities plan for new homes and infrastructure in their area that we announced in the White Paper.

We have, and we will continue to, support local planning authorities in plan-making, through the Planning Advisory Service, with support from officials of my Department and the Planning Inspectorate.

Where local planning authorities continue to fail to produce a plan to provide certainty to their community on where future development will be brought forward, we will use our intervention powers to ensure plans are put in place.


5th Studio-SQW NIC Oxford-Cambridge-MK Future Planning options Report

See here for  a report on the NIC corridor website

Including – as we have long urged – New Towns at Calvert at Bassingbourn – with very similar footprints to what we have suggested.

Expanding to the west of Cambridge though is a bad idea – it is the most landscape sensitive of all major directions of growth.

Also taking East West Rail north of Sandy is impractical – build on and long tunnel.  South of Sandy you can integrate with Sandy Station and have a very short tunnel (under the RSPBHQ) of only a few hundred metres.  I know for a fact the EAST West’Rail PM is relaxed about varying from the original varsity line route in the ‘Central’ section Beds-Cambridge.

Also see the excellent report by AECOM published in parallel on delivery options.

The NIC Final Oxford-MK-Cambridge Report Publish


Direct Link here here

A ground-breaking new deal between Whitehall and local leaders in one of the most economically-important parts of the country could add hundreds of billions of pounds to the national economy each year and lead to the first new towns in the UK for half a century, Lord Adonis said today.

The chairman of the National Infrastructure Commission urged Ministers, and council leaders across the arc covering Oxford, Milton Keynes, Bedford, Northampton and Cambridge, to “seize the opportunity” and harness the area’s economic potential.

To do this, he encouraged them to work together to deliver new and improved infrastructure, helping to unlock opportunities to deliver one million new homes and jobs by 2050, including the country’s first new towns in 50 years – tackling the area’s housing shortage, improving local transport connections and creating new jobs.

He highlighted that these measures can be taken while at the same time protecting and enhancing the natural environment of the area, and without making changes to existing Green Belt protections.

Currently the area generates £90billion per year towards the national economy. But by taking these steps this could increase to over £250billion a year – an increase of over £160billion a year.

Chairman of the National Infrastructure Commission Lord Adonis said:

“The arc spanning Cambridge, Milton Keynes and Oxford attracts the brightest and best from some of the most cutting edge industries. But the area also suffers from a lack of available homes and an infrastructure network that is feeling the strain – pricing local people out of the market, making it difficult for businesses to recruit staff, and threatening the future competitiveness of one of the most successful parts of the country.

“A ground-breaking deal between ministers and local leaders could transform the area, helping to double the rate of housebuilding and deliver the first new towns this country has seen for half a century. With this one of the most economically important parts of the UK, it could add billions of pounds a year to the national economy.

“I urge local leaders to seize this opportunity and work together with Government, both for the benefit of their residents and of the country as a whole – all by delivering a million new homes and jobs by 2050, investing in improved road and rail links and protecting the area’s natural environment.”

Commissioner Professor Sadie Morgan said:

“Today’s report is a once-in-a-generation chance to create great new places to live and work, creating liveable communities and safeguarding the future of one of the most economically important regions in the country.

“By planning improvements to infrastructure across the arc, we can unlock as many as one million homes by 2050 while at the same time preserving the natural environment that residents value and enjoy.”

Commissioner Bridget Rosewell said:

“Maintaining the arc’s global lead in science and technology is a national priority – but to retain the brightest and best they need to have places to live.

“Local leaders now need to work with Government to agree a deal that will deliver the homes and transport connections that families and businesses across the area want to see.”

Mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough James Palmer said:

“By harnessing the potential of the Cambridge – Milton Keynes – Oxford arc we can deliver the new infrastructure, house building and jobs that the country and the people of our region need, and subsequently, adding billions of pounds to the local and national economy. Pushing forward the delivery of the East-West rail line is a major step towards seizing the opportunities for growth that this region offers.

“This National Infrastructure Commission report signals the start of a ground-breaking relationship between central Government and local authorities, and the Combined Authority for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough is committed to working alongside our partners and playing our part in delivering on the huge promise which our region offers.”

Leader of Milton Keynes Council Cllr Pete Marland said:

“We welcome the National Infrastructure Commission’s view that Milton Keynes should once again become a project of national significance. We also strongly support the recommendation that to enable growth, local authorities require certainty on the timing and funding for infrastructure delivery.

“The Commission’s report matches our ambitions for the next stage of Milton Keynes expansion, as outlined by the MK Futures 2050 Commission, of inclusive growth, better access to affordable housing, a new technological university and the creation of thousands more highly skilled jobs.

“Milton Keynes now looks forward to working with Government and our neighbours on how we can meet the challenges of delivering significant extra growth across the corridor. The Commission’s report is a strong starting point for an open dialogue on how we can best achieve the requirement for growth while meeting the aspirations of local people.”

Chair of the Oxfordshire Growth Board and Leader of Oxford City Council Councillor Bob Price said:

“Oxfordshire is at the centre of the UK’s knowledge-based economy. This region is already growing strongly and the Oxford-Cambridge ‘brain belt’ offers an opportunity to create a fourth economic powerhouse for the UK to rival those in London, the Midlands and the North. I very much welcome the Commission’s recognition that to achieve this will require much more investment in infrastructure and provision of more high quality affordable housing, as well as social infrastructure such as schools and hospitals, while protecting our high-quality environment.

“I welcome the Commission’s ambition to see infrastructure investment taken forward quickly across the arc. We will work closely with colleagues across the arc to ensure the growth is properly planned, is sustainable and works in the interests of existing and well as future residents. In particular, we want to improve connectivity and tackle congestion to make Oxfordshire an easier place for everyone to travel around.”

A ground-breaking deal between Whitehall and Town Halls

In its latest report to be published today, the National Infrastructure Commission highlights the opportunities to create well-designed, well-connected new communities, and deliver one million new homes and jobs in the area by 2050, while respecting the natural environment and without making changes to existing Green Belt protections.

The move, equivalent to a doubling of the current rate of housebuilding would be supported by improved road and rail links between the major cities, helping to create vibrant new towns – the first new towns in this country for 50 years.

In particular, the report concludes that to enable this to happen, key transport projects need to be given new momentum by the Government, including:

  • The delivery of the new East-West Rail line connecting Oxford and Cambridge, unlocking the potential for substantial new developments: this includes accelerating its delivery from Bicester to Bedford by 2023, and from Bedford to Cambridge by 2030; and
  • Accelerating the development and construction of a link between the M1 and Oxford by 2030, as part of the proposed Oxford-Cambridge Expressway

The deal proposed today could help double the rate of housebuilding and deliver one million new homes and jobs by 2050 – but Lord Adonis stressed that action needs to start immediately to get work underway.

In particular, this includes opening rail services to Cowley in South East Oxford by 2019 to support new housing, and accelerating the East-West Rail programme to open a new station at South Cambridge by 2022, alongside long-term local transport plans for other key towns and cities across the arc.

This would also include new governance arrangements to ensure local areas can join up planning for jobs, homes and infrastructure.

The report also includes recommendations that by 2020:

  • New powers should be put in place as part of the deal, giving councils in the area greater certainty over future investments, and allowing them to fund and raise finance for major infrastructure improvements that deliver new homes;
  • The Government and local authorities should have an agreed plan for new and expanded housing settlements, supported by New Town Development Corporations and new infrastructure design panels; and
  • New statutory spatial plans and investment strategies for each sub-region should be developed, as part of a 50-year vision for the arc as a whole

Partnering for prosperity: a new deal for the Cambridge – Milton Keynes – Oxford Arc is published today

This is the final report from a study into the Cambridge – Milton Keynes – Oxford Arc – the Commission’s interim report was published in November 2016 and can be found at: https://www.nic.org.uk/publications/national-infrastructure-commissions-interim-report-cambridge-milton-keynes-oxford-corridor/

The study was commissioned by the Chancellor of the Exchequer at the March 2016 Budget.

Estimates of the arc’s current and future economic output were developed by Cambridge Econometrics. Their analysis suggests that in 2014, the Gross Value Added (GVA) of the area was £90.5bn (2011 prices); by doubling housebuilding rates in the area, and delivering East-West Rail and the Oxford-Cambridge Expressway, this increases by £163billion to a GVA of £250billion

Oxford-MK-Cambridge Report Published – Several New Towns – Lets Wait now for Budget Reponse


Philip Hammond is being urged to earmark £7bn for new transport links in the “brain belt” spanning Oxford, Cambridge and Milton Keynes in next week’s budget, and persuade local authorities to build the first new towns in half a century.

The national infrastructure commission, backed by the government and chaired by Labour peer Andrew Adonis, is calling for the rate of housebuilding to be doubled across a swath of central England, to deliver a million new homes.

In exchange, Lord Adonis, a former transport secretary, says the Treasury should be willing to devolve new powers from Whitehall, and fund a series of infrastructure projects to provide rapid links across the region, including:

  • Accelerating plans to complete a new east-west rail link from Oxford to Cambridge via Bedford by 2030, based on the partly dismantled “Varsity Line”.
  • An Oxford-Cambridge expressway to speed up road links between the two fast-growing university cities.
  • New stations in South Cambridge and Cowley, on the outskirts of Oxford.

The commission also calls for several new towns to be created – between Oxford and Milton Keynes, and Bedford and Cambridge – “from smaller scale garden towns of around 10,000 homes through to new city-scale developments of up to 150,000 homes”.

Adonis believes the pledge of major new infrastructure, coupled with devolution of new powers to councils, could help to overcome public scepticism about significant new housebuilding.

“There’s a deal on offer here, which is that government puts in serious investment to transform rail and road links, in return for which the local authorities agree to double the rate of housebuilding, and build new towns in suitable and environmentally sustainable locations.”

“I am hopeful that we will get good news in the budget,” he said, adding that this kind of deal – coupling transport infrastructure with devolution to unlock housebuilding – could be copied elsewhere.

The national infrastructure commission was asked by the government to make recommendations about how best to underpin economic growth in an arc spanning Oxford and Cambridge, Milton Keynes, and nearby towns including Bedford and Northampton.


Hammond responded positively to its interim findings last year. The final report, published on Friday, identifies housing as the key constraint on economic expansion.

“The Cambridge-Milton Keynes-Oxford arc must be made a national priority. Its world-class research, innovation and technology can help the UK prosper in a changing global economy. But success cannot be taken for granted. Without urgent action, a chronic undersupply of homes could jeopardise growth, limit access to labour and put prosperity at risk.”

An east-west rail link has been under discussion since the mid-1990s, and some parts of it have already been completed – reopening the line to Bicester, for example. The commission says new stations, and junctions on the new fast road connection, could act as “magnets for development”.

Bob Price, leader of Oxford city council, said: “This region is already growing strongly and the Oxford-Cambridge ‘brain belt’ offers an opportunity to create a fourth economic powerhouse for the UK to rival those in London, the Midlands and the north.”

Housing, which Theresa May has called a personal mission, is expected to be a significant theme of next week’s budget – though the Treasury has pushed back against demands from ministers, including the communities secretary, Sajid Javid, for the government to increase borrowing to invest directly in new homes.

Hammond favours less interventionist measures, such as further liberalisation of the planning regime, and is also thought to be considering cutting stamp duty for first-time buyers.

Allowing local authorities to introduce new council tax bands for the most expensive properties is another option aimed at keeping the lid on house prices.

Javid, who believes the government should be prepared to borrow up to an extra £50bn to invest in housing, gave a strongly worded speech on housing on Thursday in Bristol, in which he defended younger workers unable to get a foot on the property ladder.

The local government association, which represents councils, is calling on the chancellor to give them the power to borrow directly, so that they can invest in social housing – something the Treasury has long resisted because it fears central government would have to bail them out.

Martin Tett, the LGA’s housing spokesman, said: “We are still significantly short of the 300,000 homes we need to be building each year. The last time we hit that number, in the 1970s, councils built more than 40% of them. Councils are serious about delivering the right kind of homes, supported by infrastructure, for our residents, and are playing their part – approving nine out of 10 planning permissions.”

“The chancellor has an opportunity to go down in the history books as the chancellor who allowed an entire generation of affordable homes to be created, by allowing councils the freedom to borrow to build. We encourage him to take this opportunity in the autumn budget next Wednesday.”

No Housebuilding Announcement on ‘Housing Day’ shows something being held back for Budget

Guardian – the Avo on Toast Millennials Meme comes from some stupid remarks from an Australian politician.

Held back – probably because May is still dithering about it so Javid had nothing to announce bar a headine grabbing theme.

Jaivi’ds s speech in Bristol came shortly after Theresa May visited a social housing estate in north London, as part of a concerted government push on the issue ahead of next week’s budget.vid had tough words for “baby boomers who have long since paid off their own mortgage” who believed there was no need to build more homes, saying they were “living in a different world”.

Such people argue that “affordability is only a problem for millennials that spend too much on nights out and smashed avocados,” Javid said, adding: “It’s nonsense. They’re not facing up to the reality of modern daily life and have no understanding of the modern market.”

With the average house price now eight times the average income, and the mean age of a first-time buyer hitting 32, vast numbers of people were forced to remain living with their parents, he said.

“Where once it would have taken an average couple three years to save for a deposit it will now take a quarter of a century. Assuming, of course, they can afford to save at all,” Javid said.

“And last year, the average first-time buyer in London needed a deposit of more than £90,000. That’s a lot of avocados.”

The chance of owning a house was now often governed by people’s ability to “make a withdrawal from the bank of mum and dad”, Javid said, risking the creation of a generation that mistrusted politicians and “becomes resentful of capitalism and capitalists”.

There had been speculation Javid would use the speech to announce a housebuilding policy. However, nothing emerged, with the expectation that any new measures are being held back for the budget.


Sajid Javid has laid down a challenge to Philip Hammond, the Chancellor, as he called for a “giant leap” in numbers of new homes being built.

The Communities secretary said the lack of new homes being built was a “big problem and we have to think big” to tackle the crisis.

A major new package for house-building will be at the heart of the Budget next week.

Mr Javid has upped the pressure in recent weeks for Mr Hammond to spend billions of public money on new homes.

His words came as new figures that show 217,000 new homes were built over the past year.

In a rare Tweet, Gavin Barwell, the Prime Minister’s chief of staff and a former housing minister, hailed the figure as “real progress but more to do”.

With exception of  bubble just before the crash, housebuilding now at highest level for a generation. Real progress but more to do

In his speech Mr Javid said far more had to be done and he wanted to see a “government of deeds, not words”.

He said: “The figures that have been released today show that we have started turning things around. But they are only a small step in the right direction.

“What we need now is a giant leap. You wouldn’t know it if you listened to some people.”

Likening the housing crisis to the challenge facing Britain in the Second World War, adding that Britain would rise to the challenge and build more homes.

Mr Javid said: “Faced with the crisis of the Second World War, Churchill demanded ‘action this day’ so the country could rise to the challenge.

“And, faced with an unprecedented housing crisis, that’s what you’re going to get from this government.

“Real action, day after day, week after week, to give this country a housing market that works for everyone.”

Mr Javid set out a multi-pronged policy assault on the housing crisis including allowing the Homes and Communities Agency to make more public land available for new homes.

Private housebuilders will also be required to build homes more quickly while the Government will introduce measures to train up more construction workers.

Developers will also be told to build on land they own – or lose it – in an end to “unjustifiable land banking”.

Mr Javid said: “It’s a time of national shortage and in this kind of time British people will not look kindly on anyone who hoards land and speculates on its value, rather than freeing it up for the homes our children and grandchildren need.”

Theresa May vows to tackle the housing crisis

Baby boomers who havde paid off their own mortgages should not be allowed to get in the way of the construction of homes for a younger generation “crying out for help with housing”.

Mr Javid said: “They don’t want the world handed to them on a plate. They want simple fairness, moral justice, the opportunity to play by the same rules enjoyed by those who came before them.

“Without affordable, secure, safe housing we risk creating a rootless generation, drifting from one short-term tenancy to the next, never staying long enough to play a role in their community.”

The comments come two weeks after Mr Javid called for Mr Hammond to borrow more to pay for more homes.

Mr Javid’s remarks came hours after it Mr Hammond announced new powers to fund house building.

Housing associations will be reclassified as private bodies allowing their £70billion debt to be removed from the government’s balance sheet, the Government said.

Government sources said Mr Hammond, Mrs May and Mr Sajid were agreed on a bid to tackle the housing crisis.

The plans which are set to be unveiled next week in the Budget will be a series of measures to tackle the housing crisis.

Mr Hammond said there was “no silver bullet” to fixing the housing crisis as he appeared to strike a more downbeat tone than Mrs May.