Response to Conservative housing plansMarch 2, 2015
The Prime Minister gave a speech on housing this morning and set out five key commitments for any future Conservative government:
- Maintaining low interest rates by tackling the deficit and running a budget surplus by 2018.
- Increasing the number of affordable homes – including increasing the number of discounted starter homes exclusively for buyers under 40 years old as well releasing more state land for development and supporting the use of Garden Cities in Bicester and Ebbsfleet.
- Extending the Help to Buy Equity Loan scheme to 2020.
- Extending Right to Buy to more people and continuing to support Build to Rent.
- Giving local people more control over planning and protecting the Green Belt by encouraging development of brownfield sites.
Jonathan Seager, Head of Housing Policy at business group London First, responded saying:
“Housing targets are welcome but they will not actually get homes built.
“We need to look at what it is that is stopping us from building enough homes in the first place and will need a comprehensive long-term strategy.
“There is no silver bullet; we need to look at building at greater density, making better use of surplus public land, putting in the right infrastructure, and making changes to planning laws.
“We agree with a ‘brownfield first’ policy, but this land can be very expensive, complex and slow to develop on, which means it is part of the solution, not a panacea.”