Housing study blames planning law

tliouk office at tlio.demon.co.uk
Mon Dec 15 21:07:13 GMT 2003

Housing study blames planning law
BBC News Online
Wednesday, 10 December, 2003
Ref: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/3305581.stm

The planning system and the construction industry are to blame for a 
chronic shortage of new homes, a major investigation has alleged.

The interim findings of the review, commissioned by the chancellor, 
suggest house building needs to increase by 20% just to keep pace 
with demand. The study was carried out by economist Kate Barker, from 
the Bank Of England's Monetary Policy Committee

She said the severe housing shortage in the South East had to be 

Ms Barker says the current level of new house building - about 
180,000 per year - has to be increased by about 40,000.

She argues that first-time buyers are paying £32,000 more than they 
would have been if prices had risen in line with the rest of Europe 
since 1975, and £48,000 more than if house prices had just gone up 
with inflation.

The report - published on Wednesday - also says the planning system 
has blocked the redevelopment of many brownfield sites.

Speed up planning

It also criticises the construction industry for concentrating more 
on buying land than building properties on it.

The report is expected to recommend that the planning system be 
speeded up to increase the amount of land available to developers and 
is also likely to suggest a number of greenfield sites be used for 

Britain's biggest mortgage lender Halifax estimates the UK will face 
a shortage of around 453,000 homes within 10 years if the rate at 
which new houses are built does not increase.

The report comes a day after an interim report said consumers were 
reluctant to take out mortgages at fixed rates for 25 years because 
they put too much emphasis on the cost of monthly repayments and did 
not appreciate the security offered by a long-term loan.


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