The National Housing Federation today (Thursday, March 17) welcomed the publication of a select committee report into the Government's 'botched' reforms of the planning system.
The select committee conducted an in-depth inquiry into the impact of the abolition of regional spatial strategies (RSS) and the likely impact of the new homes bonus, the Government's flagship policy to encourage local communities to support plans for new homes.
Their report, which quotes Federation evidence extensively, concludes that the 'botched revocation' of the RSS 'leaves a vacuum at the heart of the English planning system'.
The Federation, which represents England's housing associations, has been lobbying hard for the robust and consistent assessment of housing need by local authorities to be at the heart of the new localised planning system.
In response to the select committee's report, Federation chief executive David Orr said: "The select committee's report echoes the Federation's warnings about the Government's hasty and damaging dismantling of the planning system before it was able to put anything in its place.
"However with 4.5 million people in England in housing need, the priority now must be to ensure the new localised planning system effectively delivers new affordable homes. "The Government must heed the committee's recommendations to support th robust and consistent assessment of housing need by councils.
"This will mean providing help for over-stretched planning departments and a stronger obligation for councils to work together to meet the overall housing need in each part of England. And as the committee recommends, revisions are needed for the new homes bonus to provide adequate incentives for new affordable homes.
"The National Housing Federation will keep working with the Government to ensure the new planning system delivers the new homes that are so desperately needed."
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