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What the F#$! Do the Government Know about Land & Planning?

01/02/18
Posted by: Tom Morris

Another week and another political proposal to force developers to build on land or enact a compulsory purchase order.

This is pure madness and doesn’t truly get to the route cause of the house crisis. There are numerous problems with the system and the environment that the countless governments have created for house builders. The biggest issues are obviously the planning system and to be bluntly honest, it is just not fit for purpose. It is complicated, clumbersome and almost does all it can to inhibit the residential building process.

House builders are private sector entities, they are there to make profit and not the wider social impact. Yes, they have to make the area and environment better than the state they found it in, but they are doing it to make themselves turnover and ultimately profit.

Why would a house builder deliberately sit on an “oven ready site” with planning when its taken hundreds of thousands, if not (like in many cases) millions of pounds to get it through planning. Would you buy a brand-new car and then not put fuel in it just to see if its value would go up by not putting miles on the clock? No, me neither.

The government has set the 300,000 new homes a year target, but the environment and conditions do not exist for this figure to be hit. To then penalise the industry, they are trying to motivate seems very odd, and a somewhat unusual motivation tactic.

Any public-sector body set up by the government (as dear Jeremy is suggesting) will not be able to operate in the private market. It won’t have the ability to move quickly and with the weight of government bureaucracy it will ultimately end up more expensive for the tax payer.

The Government proposal is much the same as an alcoholic blaming the drinks industry for making alcoholic drinks. Nonsensical at best, madness at worst.

We need to look at the root causes rather than start blaming the end product. We all know house builders, if speaking frankly, are not perfect, but they seem to be an easy scapegoat for politicians to blame for the shocking state of the housing market.

Start simplifying the planning system, make it easier to build houses and the Government and great British public will get what it wants. More houses and possibly 300,000 New Homes per year.