As the government announces a package of proposed planning reforms, John Perry says an opportunity to put the need to build more homes that people can afford centre stage has been missed.
Affordable homes built when developers get planning permission for market housing schemes make a vital contribution to meeting needs. The government’s latest consultation shows they were worth £4 billion last year, and we already know they produced more than 18,000 homes or 43% of the affordable housing built in 2016/17, mostly without grant.
It’s extraordinary then that when the government listed its objectives for this week’s package of planning reforms, increasing the supply of affordable housing wasn’t one of them. Emphasising its continued importance would have signalled that the government intended to halt the steady erosion of ‘section 106’ powers that began under the coalition government.