Fear of development is slowing down the construction of new homes according to an informal Question Time-style panel discussion held in Manchester.
More than 50 developers, house builders, and consultants from the North West were in attendance at the event.
In an hour-long panel discussion with David Manley QC, Jennie Daly (UK director of planning, Taylor Wimpey), and Eamonn Boylan (chief executive, Stockport Council), the panelists discussed a wide range of topics, including the impact of NPPFs and PPGs, neighborhood planning, localism, Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL), and garden cities.
Pro-growth narratives are still being suppressed by local communities’ apprehensions about development and the lack of funding for infrastructure needed to deliver large-scale housing allocations, the panel agreed.
It was unanimous among the panel that the NPPF had done a great deal for the economy, but that the real benefits would be felt in the long run. Concerns were also raised that an early review of the NPPF was not required and could prolong the period of uncertainty for developers and communities alike. Because of this, the planning system may lose its ability to deliver growth.
The panel agreed that housing issues would continue to be a significant political debate and focus in the run-up to the general election.
With house builders reluctant to promote large housing projects that have not yet been approved by the planning board, concerns were raised that there would be a pause in key decision making during the pre-election period. A rise in the number of residential planning applications and a rise in the number of new housing constructions could put a halt to this momentum.
Even though neighborhood plans are becoming increasingly important, developers may find that the process is a “closed shop.”
Additionally, Turley began a five-year land supply survey for England’s local authorities following the debate.
Over half of English local authorities can’t show that they have enough land for five years, which is the minimum amount required by the government policy that governs new housing development. An estimated 52,000 homes are needed in the North West.
‘Housing in the North West is a hot topic,’ says Steve Bell, Turley’s Manchester office director. “This has been demonstrated by the overwhelming turnout today at our very first Question Time event.
For the most part, local authorities in England were unable to meet their five-year land supply requirements, which should come as no surprise to anyone.” Many local governments are having difficulty figuring out the best methods for promoting development in their neighborhoods because developers still have a hard time getting a seat at the table during neighborhood planning.
This year’s Turley Question Time featured a panel that included the firm’s directors Antony Pollard and Sam Ryan, as well as Taylor Wimpey’s UK director of planning, Jennie Daly, and Stockport Council CEO Eamonn Boylan.