The end of the anti interventionist unplanned localist era where teh government stepped back and expected the market to fill the gap in housing needs and local communities to spontaneously decide and agree how much housing to build. Those days are over. The NPPF is of another time- Out of date.
Ill highlight a few parts that didn’t get in the new newspapers
Can and should central government take a bigger, more active role in building homes?
Our vision for Garden Villages and Garden Towns have been well received by planners and residents alike.
But should we now be more bold, taking the concept to the next level and creating larger Garden Cities?
How can we get more land into the system, freeing up more sites on which to build?
Despite what some claim, our green and pleasant land not about to turn concrete grey.
Twice a day, more of Britain gets covered by the incoming tide than is currently covered by buildings.
England is the most developed part of the UK, yet less than 10% of its land is urban.
Building the homes that we need does not mean ruining vast tracts of beautiful countryside. It doesn’t mean that at all.
It just means working with local communities to make sensible, informed decisions about what needs to be built and where – and finding the right sites on which to do so.
Tomorrow, the National Infrastructure Commission will publish its report on the opportunities on offer if we open up the Cambridge-Milton Keynes-Oxford corridor.
I’m very much looking forward to what Lord Adonis has to say.
That’s because infrastructure has to be at the heart of any major development. And as Secretary of State I will make sure make sure that it is.
Too many commentators seem to think we have to choose one solution and stick with it, whether that’s planning reform, it’s infrastructure, it’s training or it’s investment.
That couldn’t be further from the truth.
There are many, many faults in our housing market, dating back many, many years.
If you only fix one, yes you’ll make some progress, sure enough.
But this is a big problem and we have to think big.
We can’t allow ourselves to be pulled into one silo or another, and I don’t intend to let that happen.
So there is much that central government can do.
But, acting alone, we won’t be able to do anything.
Fixing the broken market requires action on many fronts, and from many actors.
# I want the Homes and Communities Agency to be less cautious, to be more aggressive, and to be more muscular.
To take its foot off the brake and use all the tools we’ve created for it.
The agency is taking that approach here at Temple Meads, and the results are clear for us to see.
Now it’s time to repeat that success right across the country.
The private sector developers must also play their part, building more homes more quickly.
They’re great at securing planning permissions – but people can’t live in planning permissions.
The government is actively removing barriers to build-out.
As the white paper said, we’re tackling unnecessary delays caused by planning conditions.
We’re making the process of dealing with protected species less painful.
And we’re committed to tackling the skills shortage and boosting the construction workforce.
We’re giving the industry the support that it needs, and I expect the industry to respond by getting shovels in the ground.
That’s why the white paper also set out plans to increase transparency and accountability, so everyone can see if a developer is dragging its feet.
Now, I’ve been very clear about the need for an end to unjustifiable land banking.
But the sector should remember that it’s not just government that wants to see this happen.
Finally there is the most important cog in the housing and planning machine, local government.
Some councils – most in fact – are doing very well.
Where that’s the case, where councils are showing real drive and ambition, the government will back them every step of the way, including with the kind of housing deal we’re negotiating here in the West of England.
And in the areas where supply and demand are most badly mismatched, where most homes are unaffordable to most people, I want to give local authorities the tools they need to build more – and that includes financial help.
I want to help local authorities because most of them deserve that help.
They’re recognising their responsibilities and they’re stepping up to meet them.
But too many still leave much to be desired.
It’s more than 13 years since our existing local plan process was first introduced, letting England’s 338 planning authorities set our how and where they expect to meet their residents’ needs for new homes.
Yet, incredibly, more than 70 still haven’t managed to get a plan adopted.
Of these, 15 are showing particular cause for concern.
Deadlines have been missed, promises have been broken, progress has been unacceptably slow.
No plan means no certainty for local people.
It means piecemeal speculative development with no strategic direction, building on sites simply because they are there rather than because homes are needed on them.
It means no coherent effort to invest in infrastructure.
It means developers building the homes they want to sell rather than the homes communities actually need.
And so on.
It’s very simple: unplanned development will not fix our broken housing market.
It will most likely make things worse.
I do believe in localism above all else, which is why I’ve been willing to tolerate those who took their time to get the process moving.
What mattered most was that they got there in the end.
But today is the day that my patience has run out.