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Housing White Paper

Date: 2/5/2017

The Society has submitted it's response to the fixing our broken housing market Housing White Paper consultation. 

POS welcomes the focus on delivering housing, although would highlight the importance of planning for employment, community uses and infrastructure as well as housing and that these are appropriately funded.

Key features of the response:

  • POS would suggest that what is missing from the Housing White Paper (HWP), and hopes to see in the Autumn Budget is a method of capturing land value.
  • POS strongly supports the Government's emphasis on a more formal approach to strategic planning through joint strategic local plans.
  • POS strongly recommends that thought is given to seeing the Housing Delivery Test as an alternative to para 47 triggering the para 49 "presumption in favour of sustainable development" outcome.
  • POS recognises the value that a Statement of Common Ground would have in helping to ensure that local planning authorities properly address strategic issues at the start of the process.
  • POS welcomes  having a standard approach to Objectively Assessed Need and would be keen to work with Government further on this as it is important for this to be agreed by the sector in order for it to work well.
  • POS welcomes the requirement to plan for older and disabled people.
  • POS is concerned that local planning authorities will be penalised for slow build out rates (Housing Delivery Test) which are not in their gift as they are not house builders.
  • POS strongly urges Government to introduce transitional arrangements when introducing new national guidance.
  • POS is concerned that there is not a strategic approach being taken towards Green Belt.
  • POS would encourage Government to allow the density around transport hubs and town centres to be planned for and decided locally.
  • POS would strongly encourage Government to make new arrangements for S106 Legal Agreements on Council own Land.
  • POS supports the Brownfield Land Register and Permission in Principle, although acknowledges that the register is a new burden for local planning authorities.
  • POS would support a vacant land tax in England, similar to that being introduced in the Republic of Ireland. 
  • POS is seriously concerned about the unintended consequences the wording cocerning densities could have.
  • Whilst the 20% increase in planning fees is welcomed by POS there is a genuine concern that much of the additional income will be use to fund new burdens such as the Brownfield Land register, or be used to fill a gap if take up of pre-application advice and PPAs reduces.
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