Thursday, 28 July 2016

Bureaucracy and planning hurting empty homes

A high-profile architect has called on the government to slash red tape and planning constraints to tackle the 350,000 long-term empty homes in Britain.

Speaking to the Conservative Party conference in Manchester today (Wednesday), George Clarke called for ‘less red tape, less bureaucracy and less planning’.

Mr Clarke is working on a campaigning TV programme for Channel 4, which is due to launch in December.

He said: ‘I have seen how empty homes wreck communities and wreck lives. That really has to stop.

‘We are at the lowest level of house building since the 1920s. The first thing that we need to do is get people back into those 350,000 empty homes.

‘The only way we are going to get house prices down is to increase the level of supply.’

He said there is also a need for new homes, but these must be high quality and sustainable.

‘It has got to be sustainable and it has got to be considered,’ he said. ‘The biggest challenge is how you balance localism and nimbyism.’

Cabinet office minister Oliver Letwin said Mr Clarke’s comments tied in with a ‘huge’ package of housing reforms which is due to be published in November.

Mr Clarke was speaking at part of session looking at the three themes the Conservative Party’s policy forum will be examining over the next year.

These are productivity, meeting the needs of the ageing society, and cities, towns and villages.

Readers' comments (2)

Comments are only open to subscribers of Inside Housing

Already a subscriber?

If you’re already a subscriber to Inside Housing, your subscription may not be linked to your online account. You can link your subscription from within the My Account section of the website and clicking on Link My Account.

Not yet a subscriber?

If you don't yet subscribe to Inside Housing, please visit our subscription page to view our various subscription packages.

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

sign in register

Newsletter Sign-up

Related

Articles

  • Scottish parties promise action on empty homes

    25 April 2016

    Political parties are pledging measures to tackle empty properties north of the border in the run-up to the Scottish parliamentary elections.

  • Increase in planning permissions for homes

    8 March 2016

    The number of planning permissions approved for new homes has increased 6% year-on-year, according to the latest figures from the Department for Communities and Local Government.

  • Call for funds to tackle empty homes

    3 February 2016

    The Scottish Government should set up a community grants programme to encourage more empty homes to be brought back into use, a partnership made up of housing experts has recommended.

  • Welsh Government exceeds empty homes target

    29 October 2015

    The Welsh Government has today announced that it has exceeded its target for bringing empty properties back into use.

  • Call for ringfenced empty homes fund

    15 September 2015

    A charity has called on the government to reinstate ringfenced pots of money for bringing empty homes back into use.

IH Subscription