City backs plans to boost housebuilding

THE GOVERNMENT is right to try to boost housebuilding but local communities should get more of a say when it comes to new developments, according to the City A.M. / PoliticsHome.com Voice of the City Panel.

Almost two thirds of panellists (61 per cent) said they approved of government plans to more than double the rate of housebuilding in the UK by simplifying planning laws.

But exactly the same proportion of panellists said local residents should have more of a say over developments in their area, highlighting the tension between the government’s localism agenda and its desire to solve the housing shortage by rewriting planning laws in favour of developers.

The panel was evenly split three ways when asked whether the balance should be tipped in favour of more housebuilding or greater protection of green spaces.

One panellist said: “There is currently a huge shortfall in housing stock, in particular in over-burdened south east England and London. People must realise the effect this has, pushing up prices in the market substantially.”

• City A.M. and PoliticsHome interviewed 440 members of the Voice of the City panel by email last week.

New members can apply to join at cityam.com/panel