Weston’s MP Calls on Government to Encourage Building up, Not Out to Hit Housing Targets

Weston’s MP John Penrose has written to the Housing Minister saying that beautiful urban homes should count towards local Council housebuilding targets, to protect greenfields from development, and to bring investment and regeneration to town and city centres.

In his letter, John argues that Council housebuilding targets don’t pay enough attention to the thousands of newly-permissioned urban homes which will be allowed under new Government proposals to allow local residents to add an extra 2 stories to existing buildings, providing they follow local ‘style codes’ set by Councils. The number of new homes which the new rules could create is huge, and should make a major difference to Britain’s long-term problems with building enough new homes, so it makes no sense not to let them count towards local Councils’ housing targets.

John said: “These new proposals for adding two stories to town and city centre buildings are brilliant. They will slowly fill our town and city centres with good-looking four and five story crescents, terraces and mews houses, and the ‘development codes’ which will be set by Councils will bring back local architectural styles and materials so our communities will regain their individual characters and ‘anywhere-ville’ developments will be a thing of the past. They will be greener too, because more people will be able to live closer to work without commuting, and we can protect green fields by cutting urban sprawl. Why shouldn’t everywhere be as good-looking, distinctive and sustainable as the best bits of Bath, Bristol, London or Paris?

“But at the moment all these new homes won’t count towards Council housebuilding targets. If they’re done right, they could create more new homes in one go than ever before in our country’s entire history. That would fix all our long-term problems with not building enough homes, which have caused unaffordably-high house prices and rents. So why can’t local Councils like North Somerset count them towards their housing targets? It makes no sense, so I’m asking Ministers to put it right.”