In this article published by The Sun, John says that the Government is being too timid in tackling Britain’s housing crisis after it emerged new plans to allow families to “build up” won’t apply to all towns – and can easily be blocked by nimby town hall chiefs…
Housing Secretary Sajid Javid announced he would make policy changes to the National Planning Policy Framework that will allow homeowners and developers to “build up rather than build out”.
Measures to encourage the use of space above existing buildings to create new homes will be added to the Government’s Fixing our Broken Housing Market strategy.
But the changes will not grant automatic planning permission to homeowners and developers.
And critics say nimby townhall chiefs will still be able to easily block planning permissions.
Former architecture minister John Penrose dismissed the plans as “too timid to make a jot of difference”.
He told The Sun: “Housing is a huge, slow-motion crisis, so we’ve got to be bold. Otherwise a generation will stay locked out of the dream of home ownership and house prices will keep spiralling upwards.”
Ex-Planning Minister Nick Boles said the plans don’t go far enough because they don’t give homeowners in cities an automatic right to add stories to a two-storey property.
He asked: “Why should councils still have the power to block the modest plans of families who want to make room for elderly grandparents or growing teenagers?”
Mr Penrose’s own Build Up Not Out strategy calls for the extension of the “permitted development” scheme – where developers are given a wider number of areas where extensions don’t need planning permission.
He said it would unlock huge numbers of new urban house building sites and would be greener because it wouldn’t involve building over green fields.
He said: “It will breathe fresh life into our town centres and cities, creating town houses, mansion blocks and Georgian terraces rather than controversial sky-high tower blocks, so they become prettier too.”
At the first meeting of the PM’s Housing Implementation Taskforce yesterday Mrs May told ministers that all departments must think creatively about how they can contribute to meeting the Government’s target of delivering 300,000 additional homes a year.