New housing targets proposed: CCN responds

CCN Latest News, CCN News 2024 | 08 July 2024

Today the new Chancellor has announced that the new government will see to introduce housing delivery targets for local areas, as part of forthcoming planning reforms they have pledged.

More details are expected to be announced in the coming weeks, including a revised National Planning Policy Framework.

Below, the County Councils Network responds to today’s announcement.

Cllr Richard Clewer, Housing and Planning Spokesperson for the County Councils Network, said:

“Homes in county areas are some of the most unaffordable in England outside of London, with the average price in county and rural areas over 11 times average annual salaries. A renewed push to deliver more homes to improve economic growth is laudable.

“We await to see further details on housebuilding plans in the forthcoming revised National Planning Policy Framework, but national targets cannot be an effective substitute for local decision making. County and rural areas have overseen the building of 600,000 homes in the last five years, more than the rest of the country combined. With housing delivery lower in England’s urban areas,   housing targets should not be overwhelmingly allocated, or re-allocated, to county and rural areas. Instead, there should be a fair distribution of housing across England.

“Many county areas suffer from significant infrastructure pressure, with two-thirds of councils saying the pressure on their roads, schools and health services are excessive. In the government’s planning reforms, infrastructure must be an equal consideration to housing targets and it is imperative that reform allows us to better capture funds for the vital infrastructure that both enables and mitigates development. In addition, the government should not purely focus on building two and three bedroom homes but homes of all tenures, such as flats and social homes, according to local need.

“We welcome renewed emphasis on full local plan coverage across the country, but the system must also re-introduce strategic planning across county areas, allowing these places to zoom out and make more effective decisions about the best locations for housing and the infrastructure that would be required to support it.”

The CCN has previously called for a long-term plan for housing. Read the network’s calls – and what should be included in such a plan – in CCN’s Manifesto for Counties.