Mark Harris, Planning & Policy Advisor Wales, for the Home Builders Federation blogs about the jointly released briefing paper ‘Planning for 20,000 Homes’:
HBF is pleased to have worked closely with CHC and the Federation of Master Builders on this paper, as many of the issues within have been raised by HBF previously. The constraints highlighted in the paper are ones that face all housing providers in Wales, whether private or public. Planning is often a long and complicated process and the report identifies ways to improve the system, such that it would better enable housebuilders to deliver the 20,000 affordable homes identified as being required, as well as the private ones Wales desperately needs. HBF looks forward to working with Welsh Government and the Local Planning Authorities to implement the recommendations made and create an environment in which all housing providers can increase output and better match housing supply to demand.
In particular, Recommendation 6 – Reinforcing The Plan Led System deals with a current issue facing HBF members: that of uncertainty, with eleven LDPs needing to be reviewed before 2021 when they end. It is unclear if these will come forward individually, or as joint reviews with a further option of a Strategic Development Plan. It is this plan led system that allows each Council to identify land for housing and provides the certainty which allows house builders to make long term investment decisions. These plans also set the policies which require a certain percentage of the new homes on private developments to be affordable. The HBF recently published its own paper, HBF Housing Delivery and the Plan-Led System, looking at this issue in more detail and offering a number of solutions to Welsh Government. We feel that the ‘Planning for 20,000 Homes’ provides a platform to again raise these issues and to support the voice of our delivery partners in CHC and FMB in raising constructive solutions to a number of other shared areas of concern.