The housing white paper is designed to reduce the amount of money wasted, and time spent, on plan making according to housing and planning minister Gavin Barwell.
Barwell, MP for Croydon Central, was questioned at the Communities and Local Government (CLG) Committee during the final public session of its inquiry into capacity in the housebuilding industry. He was quizzed about the government’s housing white paper and what it means for the planning system, the green belt and permitted development rights.
My real concern is about how long it takes developers to complete schemes
Barwell highlighted that local authorities have powers to de-designate areas of green belt land. Under certain circumstances, councils can make previously protected land available for development through a process known as de-designation.
"We also have a stick, called the designation regime, the threat of which, has led to an increase in performance. 85 per cent of planning applications are now on time, compared to 70 per cent in the final quarter of the Labour government preceding the coalition government", he said.
The minister was asked how local authorities and developers could be encouraged to work more effectively with one another and improve housing supply.
"Whilst the government cannot fully control the number of new homes built due to macro-economic factors, it aims to build 1m homes by end of next parliament with 225,000 affordable homes by 2020", he said.