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Housing and Planning Bill: Third reading passed

Words: Laura Edgar
New houses / iStock

The Housing and Planning Bill has been passed through to the House of Lords following part two of the report stage and the third reading in the House of Commons.

The new “English votes for English laws” rules were used in the vote for the first time.

An amendment, introduced by Conservative mayoral candidate Zac Goldsmith, MP for Richmond Park, discussed during the second part of the report stage on 12 January, would require local authorities in London to provide two new affordable homes for every high-value council property, irrespective of location.

London mayoral candidate for Labour and MP for Tooting Sadiq Khan said an amendment he tabled is for like-for-like replacements.

Goldsmith's amendment, he said, would “say to housing associations across the country, ‘If you’re going to go ahead with right to buy, you have to spend the money raised from the sale locally on replacement affordable housing.’ ”

The bill, Khan said, “will do nothing to solve the housing crisis facing London”.

Shadow housing and planning minister John Healey, MP for Wentworth and Dearne, said the bill “fails” to get to grips with the “problems of modern life and the crisis of home ownership”, starter homes are out of reach for those who most need help to buy a home of their own and it “sounds the death knell for social housing”.

But communities secretary Greg Clark, MP for Tunbridge Wells, said the bill had been the subject of “intensive scrutiny and debate”.

He continued: “It has been a debate in which words have had consequences. The government have listened and, as we should, we have acted on what we have heard. Significant and strengthening changes have been made as a direct result”.

English and Welsh MPs gave consent to parts of the Housing and Planning Bill that applied only to their constituencies.

Speaker John Bercow suspended the sitting of the Commons following the completion of the bill’s report stage to finalise which provisions applied to which nations.

MPs debated the new rules, with Scottish MPs able to speak but not vote, before the “consent motion” for England and Wales was agreed without division.

The Housing and Planning Bill passed the third reading on division: Division 163, Ayes 309 votes, Noes 216 votes.

The bill will now be considered by the House of Lords.

A round-up of the report stage of the bill, held on 5 January, can be found here. 

A round-up of the second reading, held in November 2015, can be found here. 

Housing and Planning Bill: MPs unhappy with “privatisation of planning” can be found here.

More information on the report stage and readings of the bill can be found on the UK Parliament website.