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Planners launch blueprint for more homes

A planning blueprint to help build thousands of homes in the UK has been published.

In a report Deliverying Large Scale Housing, the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) has outlined 15 key measures needed to boost house building. This includes unlocking existing large scale housing schemes and potential sites across England and Scotland.

The recommendations focus on community engagement, land, infrastructure, finance, and leadership and governance.

Recommendations in full are:

  • Politicians, campaigning groups and planners need to make the case for large scale housing schemes by emphasising the consequences of failing to build enough houses.
  • Engagement must reach a wider cross section of the community.
  • The pre-application engagement process and local plan consultation must be comprehensive, straightforward, accessible and represent good value for money.
  • The Public should have access to land ownership information.
  • Local authorities should take a larger role in land assembly, including compulsory purchase.
  • Land value risks should be shared more evenly between local authority, developer and landowner.
  • Government departments and agencies should be required to dispose of surplus land holdings, taking into account the wider community value rather than maximising the capital receipt.
  • Government should incentivise large scale housing schemes through finance mechanisms or national planning policy.
  • Infrastructure expenditure, policies and planning should be linked with housing planning to unlock potential for sites.
  • Local authorities should be empowered to use existing or innovative funding solutions.
  • Local authorities, infrastructure providers and government agencies should develop ways to pool departmental and European resources.
  • Central government should consider underwriting some site investment where funding is unavailable.
  • Local authorities and agencies should be given much greater incentives to work collaboratively.
  • Planners’ skills should be used more broadly in the design and delivery of growth plans.
  • Special delivery processes should be considered for major housing schemes of acknowledged national significance.

RTPI president Peter Geraghty said the proposals were ‘bold but achievable’, and were key to breaking barriers preventing large scale housebuilding.

‘While solutions involving existing stock and smaller scale development will clearly play a key role in resolving the housing crisis, our report concentrates on the part which could be played by locally-inspired large scale housing schemes - schemes and sites with thousands of homes on them,’ he said.

He said that although the report focussed on large scale housing consisting of thousands of homes, many of the recommendations would also help smaller scale developments happen.

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