Magazine article Public Finance

Councils Told to Release More Land for Housing

Magazine article Public Finance

Councils Told to Release More Land for Housing

Article excerpt

Local authorities have been told to make more land available for housing at the same time as ministers are promising to protect green belt areas.

Under a shake-up of the planning system announced by ministers on July 18, authorities must provide developers with a five-year rolling supply of suitable sites for new homes.

They will also be required to identify suitable land up to 15 years in advance, instead often, and take more notice of sub-regional, as well as regional, housing markets.

Launching the consultation paper Planning for housing provision, part of the government's response to the Barker review of housing supply, Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott said the planning system must respond faster to local housing needs by 'building more homes in the right places'.

But, at the same time, the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister published a further consultation document warning regional planners to maintain or even increase areas of green belt.

Planning applications that infringe green belt restrictions will be automatically referred to the secretary of state before councils decide whether they are minded to approve them.

The Barker review, published in March 2004, called for an extra 17,000 affordable homes a year to be built. …

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