Reform of planning system vital to help solve rural housing crisis, says CLA

15 July 2016

The CLA has called on new Communities Secretary Sajid Javid to press ahead with vital reform of the planning system to help solve the rural housing crisis.

Responding to ‘Building more homes’, a House of Lords Select Committee Economic Affairs report published today (15 July), CLA President Ross Murray said: “Our new Communities Secretary must understand how the current planning system holds back development and press ahead with vital reform. He must help create the right conditions to build houses and provide the rental homes that rural communities desperately need.”

The Lords’ report recommends that planning fees should be much higher than the current limit and that local authorities should be given power to increase the charges.

 Mr Murray said: “The planning system already prevents rural business development because of the complexity and costs involved. This prevents many proposals from coming forward that would otherwise provide valuable rural economic growth.

“An increase in planning fees must be proportionate with the nature and scale of the development to avoid suffocating the rural economy and damaging the delivery of homes, job creation and better quality wages in rural areas. There must be a discernible improvement in planning authority service levels for higher fees to be justified.

“Mr Javid has the opportunity to provide rural businesses with the certainty they need to invest in the right developments in the right places, helping to solve to the housing crisis in rural areas.”