We have mentioned previously that the government intends to introduce new planning legislation which will help increase the number of houses being built. As expected, it has met with a great deal of resistance from various parties, including Conservative MPs.
In August, ministers published details of an algorithm, described by one Tory MP as a “mutant”, that calculates which parts of the country are earmarked for development. Cities outside London would be asked to build fewer houses. For example, development is set to shrink by 37% in Greater Manchester and 15% in Birmingham.
It appears traditional Tory shires face a huge rise in development. The Cotswolds constituency would have an extra 739 homes a year. Arundel & South Downs would receive 4,510 homes over ten years, the equivalent of a small town. Richmondshire in North Yorkshire – which includes parts of the Yorkshire Dales – would be hit by a tenfold increase. London would be hit hardest, with a fivefold rise in Holborn & St Pancras alone.
Conservative backbenchers are increasingly mutinous over the reforms, with one rebel calling it symptomatic of a ‘wider lack of engagement’ that No 10 is not allowed MPs to vote on. John Fuller, chairman of the District Council’s Network, said that councillors were “enraged” by the targets. “We’ve got to have a formula – but, please, God, not this one,” he said. We have not heard the last of this…