Brexit: solving the housing crisis?
Courtesy of Boris Johnson, we now know that Brexit will solve all our problems, including even the planning issues that dog the housing market. “There may be ways of simplifying planning procedures, post-Brexit, and abbreviating impact assessments without in any way compromising the environment,” Johnson wrote in his utopian vision statement last weekend.
If that sounded suspiciously like another example of having your cake and eating it, maybe it is not so very different from the aspiration of Sajid Javid, the communities secretary, whose big announcement last week about changes to housing and planning policy entailed some wishful thinking. Having described the housing market as “broken”, Javid said that he was introducing “an innovative approach to planning new homes [which] will ensure they’re built where most needed, save councils millions of pounds every year and help deliver more affordable homes”.
Which is why James Vernor-Miles, of Hunters, is broadly supportive of Javid’s standard approach. “It should remove the opportunity for debates about other types of plan,” he says. “I would have thought that developers would welcome it as a way of streamlining the way we assess need.”
That said, traditional solutions to the housing crisis might no longer be acceptable. “High-rise blocks could continue to meet demand in cities and even the shires, although their designs challenge neighbourhoods and after the Grenfell Tower tragedy designs are bound to be more carefully scrutinised,” Vernor-Miles says.
Read the full article in The Times Law here, behind a paywall.