EADT Housing Feature

Despite improvements being made through government initiatives and a general consensus that we need to solve the housing crisis, there are still major challenges in the planning system.

On one hand the government tells us that we need to build more houses, but the planning system is restrictive and 90 per cent of people admit they have NIMBY (not in my back yard) attitudes towards new development.

Understandably, rural locations are wary of plans to extend their towns and villages, fearing that profit-hungry developers will throw up low quality, unsympathetic housing in high densities. And our planning system is basically adversarial pitting local councils, developers and communities against each others.

This makes the system bureaucratic and means the approval process can take months, sometimes years, to navigate.

It doesn't have to be this way. I am not in favour of building houses for the sake of it; instead the system needs reforming so that appropriate amounts of land for housing is allocated quickly and then developers can get on with building without lengthy additional planning applications. In return for a much speedier planning process, developers should commit to working with local people to ensure that developments enhance existing communities, and above all commit to delivering high quality design that is in keeping with the look and feel of the area and which residents can be proud of.

Key facts;

*It is widely recognised that 200,000 new homes need to be built across the country each year to solve the housing shortage, yet in 2014 less than 120,000 were completed.

*The population of the UK is predicted to rise by 10 million over the next 20 years.

*Almost 75 per cent of the population believe that home ownership is a human right

*Almost 80 per cent believe it will be harder for their children to buy a home than it is for them