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RICS set to press Labour on housebuilding programme

The RICS will be pressing ministers for more details of the government's housebuilding programme at a seminar at the Labour Party Conference in Blackpool next week.

The institute, which is running seminars at the conference, will question the government on its commitment to affordable housing. And it will warn government to be realistic about the role housing can play in the regeneration of communities.

Housing minister Tony McNulty MP will be speaking, along with London deputy mayor Nicky Gavron, with other MPs expected to attend.

Central to the RICS agenda will be the role that good design, along with planning and political will, can play in the revitalisation of communities.

It will also be pressing home the message that the answer to the housing crisis lies in high-density housing developments on brownfield sites.

Policy officer at the RICS Stuart Poore said the event provided the ideal opportunity for those in the housing sector to air their views to government.

'The most important context behind any housing event is how government is going to spread funding.Where is the £1.4 billion increase going to go? What are the government's priorities to ensure all housing reaches a decent standard by 2010?

'We will also be tackling Nicky Gavron on her plans for housing within the London Plan, ' he added. The RICS will argue that the 50 per cent affordable housing target is 'prohibitively high'.

Last year's RICS seminar featured a presentation from Lord Falconer, who used the opportunity to give an early indication of what would be featured in this year's comprehensive spending review.

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