Monday 21 June 2021 5:14 pm

Tory MPs call for compensation for homeowners near new housing developments

A group of Tory backbenchers want cash compensation to be given to homeowners who are affected by new housing developments built through the government’s planning reforms.

Conservative backbencher Steve Baker is arguing today that Boris Johnson’s new planning reforms will see new developments “trespassing on existing property owners” and that they should be given something in return.

The new housing reforms will make it easier for developers to complete new builds without consulting residents, with the government aiming to quickly boost the country’s housing supply.

The reforms, which will be largely based on a government white paper out last year, will split the country into different zones with some deemed “growth” areas.

It will be easier and quicker for developers to navigate the planning system in these growth zones, with less scope for community efforts to block them.

The Tories’ by-election loss in the Buckinghamshire constituency of Chesham and Amersham to the Liberal Democrats has largely been blamed on the proposed planning reforms, which could see many tower blocks built in the south of England.

The Times reports that Baker will use an opposition day debate on the policy to call for an end to “postwar socialist state planning” and for the government to instead use a system that gives incentives to homeowners to agree to new developments.

“At the moment we force costs on property owners without any compensation for those costs. So of course people oppose almost all development if they already own a house,” he said.

“We need a system of land use which is based on compensating property owners directly for the costs opposed on them by developments.”

The planning reforms have sparked a growing Tory rebellion, with former Prime Minister Theresa May among their ranks.

She has said the plans will lead to “the wrong homes in the wrong places” being built.

Supporters of the changes are accusing the rebel MPs, mostly from southern England constituencies, of Nimbyism.