Housing and Planning

Housing proposals fail to address the need for Green belt reform



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Commenting on the Prime Minister’s announcement on housing Mark Littlewood, Director General at the Institute of Economic Affairs said: 

There are some encouraging signs of intention to promote housebuilding and roll back red tape, but the reforms proposed really only tinker at the edges.

Our broken housing market is down to a lack of supply resulting from restrictive planning laws that keep costs sky-high and prevent the necessary number of homes being built. So in promising to maintain protection of the Green belt, these proposals fall at the first hurdle.

While it’s fair to scrutinise privileges granted to developers to ensure they are creating the best incentives, scapegoating them rather than the broken system itself suggests a failure of the Government to grasp the root problem of the housing crisis.

There are huge potential gains to be made from real planning liberalisation – lower housing costs, a better functioning labour market and higher productivity. The sentiment to make it easier to build houses is in the right place. Unfortunately, the substantial change to policy that is so desperately needed to build more homes seems absent.”

Notes to editors:

For media enquiries please contact Nerissa Chesterfield, Communications Officer:[email protected] or 07791 390 268.

To read the IEA Housing briefing published in March 2016, click here.

The mission of the Institute of Economic Affairs is to improve understanding of the fundamental institutions of a free society by analysing and expounding the role of markets in solving economic and social problems and seeks to provide analysis in order to improve the public understanding of economics.

The IEA is a registered educational charity and independent of all political parties.

Further IEA Reading: The Housing Crisis: A Briefing