A national debate is raging over the coalition Government’s plans to cap housing benefit. The dispute is bringing both Britain’s housing crisis, and deeply divided opinion over proposed planning reforms (NPPF), back into the spotlight.
In the thick of this row, we found ourselves accused in the The Guardian – by CentreForum’s Tim Leunig – of opposing housebuilding in the south-east where the shortage of affordable homes is so keenly felt.
Our Ben Cowell, assistant director of external affairs, sets the record straight in today’s Guardian letters page:
Good planning for an urban renaissance
“Tim Leunig is wrong to assert that the National Trust is opposed to housebuilding in the south-east. We need more houses, but we need them to be built in the right places. We also think more could be done to encourage the reuse of existing houses before we build on greenfield sites. After all, nearly 70,000 homes in London and the south-east have been empty for more than six months.
The government proposes to remove the national thresholds at which affordable housing must be delivered within development schemes. This will surely further damage the provision of housing for those who need it most.”
As we’ve said in our Planning for People manifesto, we believe the NPPF should promote the provision of affordable homes and give a five-year supply of land for housing.