Wednesday, 04 March 2015

Storm clouds gather over housing schemes

House builders and planners across the UK have launched desperate bids to save vital regeneration schemes from being washed away in a flood of government cuts.

Leaders of the ten housing market renewal pathfinders, which face cuts of 20 per cent from their budgets, have held individual crisis talks with government officials this week.

Brendan Nevin, visiting professor at the University of Manchester, said they have argued the £50 million cut will make it impossible to fund planned compulsory purchase orders and lead to local job losses.

Slashing promised regeneration could ‘damage relationships bet-ween government and communities for more than a decade’, he added.
Developer Berkeley has seen funding frozen on 12 projects, as part of a freeze on the £214 million kickstart budget ahead of the June 22 emergency budget. This includes funding for the 449-home first phase of the regeneration of the high-profile Ferrier estate in Greenwich.

John Anderson, chair of Berkeley, said it will argue that because all of its schemes are ‘in an advanced stage’ funding should be agreed.
The four planned eco-towns also found out this week that they may no longer count on financial support from the government.

The Communities and Local Government department said this week that ‘no decisions’ had been made on whether the eco-town developments approved by the Labour government would receive the same level of funding as promised.

Regional housing boards have won a three-month reprieve after sustained lobbying saw the government agree to extend their funding to the end of September.

The Planning Officers Society said that a more rapid end to funding for the regional housing and planning boards might not allow the boards enough time or cash to settle bills and handle staff redundancies.

A spokesperson for the East Midlands Leaders Board said it stood to lose £1.88 million which the government gives it for handling the region’s housing strategy. ‘It will mean probably some redundancies being negotiated.’

Meanwhile South Oxfordshire district council cancelled a meeting on its core strategy, locations for thousands of new homes for 20 years, until the government provided more clarity on the new planning system.

Readers' comments (6)

  • But still lots of jobs, it seems, for squadrons of press officers to run a story about job cuts, industry and social destruction.

    Just another £160bn to go.

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  • "Anonymous | 04/06/2010 9:44 am

    But still lots of jobs, it seems, for squadrons of press officers to run a story about job cuts, industry and social destruction."

    Just think - if there weren't all those press officers you'd have nothing to comment on!

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  • Speaking in response to the paper launched by the TCPA today, ‘The Future of Planning report: Distilling the TCPA roundtable debates’ Bob Neill MP said: “The new Government has committed to radically reform the planning system to ensure local people and communities are put at the heart of local decision making, and can work with Local Authorities and businesses to shape future development in their area." Can that mean 6 million on the waiting list??? Alex kendall please say something you have an informed views you said what would happen pls love

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  • Ah, "6m on the waiting list".

    And what an open-doors immigration policy play in generating that problem?

    And please could someone do the research on the construction of the waiting list since it appears to have become a very handy tool for a press officer to run as a challenge to anyone who questions the waiting list.

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  • What informed debate on this blog sorry I am not a member of the NUJ

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  • We voted for wars, taxing the poor, and a Royal Family to boot - why should social housing be a priority?

    Lord Mandelson of 'New Labour' once declared that he had "nothing against people getting filthy rich", now followed by Vince Cable saying he is at bottom a City of London supporter and no crude socialist.

    'Big Conservative Society' concepts leave no room for social housing, human rights, or state education for all from cradle to grave, probably no NHS either. The only National is the Army for military expeditions abroad and direct-inderect Inland Revenue till we bleed for the hoi poloi; but no more chance of crumbs off the Emprire's top table.

    Even Pansocialist Greece is now following in the Thatcherite-New Labour sell offs of family silver that could briong the house down.

    My heart goes out to house builders and building contractors who are Conservative supporters and are now calling for government support of the sector - its so sweet to see them convert to State patronage if not downright intervention - I though they said that there is no left or right wing of laying drains - we'll see.

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