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Housing white paper: Rising land values not addressed, says RTPI

Words: Laura Edgar

While it welcomes a number of measures in the government’s long-awaited housing white paper, the RTPI is highlighting its failure to address the capture of rising land values to benefit communities.

The paper outlines measures to boost local planning authority resources, deliver more affordable homes, greater support for SME builders and to introduce a housing delivery test.

Launching Fixing our broken housing market yesterday (7 February), communities secretary Sajid Javid said between 225,000 and 275,000 homes are needed a year.

The RTPI has welcomed many of the measures in the housing white paper, including more comprehensive proposals to increase the supply of suitable land available for housing.

It is essential that there is greater diversity in the housing market to address the issue of affordability, said the institute, therefore the government’s new focus on a wider range of housing tenures is also welcome.

But although it is pleased to see the government’s intention to join up development with infrastructure, the RTPI has advised the government to work across departments to achieve this.

There are also some issues in the housing sector that the white paper neglects to address, said the institute, noting that it makes no mention of a mechanism to capture rising private land values to better benefit communities – “the single most useful instrument to channel more value generated by development towards public benefit investments such as social housing and good infrastructure, without incurring more public debt”.

Stephen Wilkinson, RTPI president, said: “We welcome the intention of this white paper to address many of the issues the RTPI has previously identified to solve the housing crisis. Particular measures include the government’s plans to support a greater range of tenures to help more people afford homes, additional resources for planning departments and its intention to link the development of infrastructure to support the delivery of new housing.”

The Planner reported earlier today (8 February) that the white paper proposes to increase planning fees by 20 per cent in an attempt to increase resources.

The RTPI’s response to this can be read here.

More detailed response from the institute can be found on the RTPI's website.

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