Following a consultation launched in the summer that sought views from planners, councils and the wider public, the government has announced it will review the way it calculates Housing Targets and an updated method will be introduced that prioritises brownfield sites, delivers on the governments ‘levelling-up’ agenda and encourages the construction of more family homes.
The government wants to build 300,000 new homes across England each year by the mid-2020s, but a proposed algorithm to calculate targets was met with concern earlier this year. As a result, the Housing Secretary has today updated the proposed methodology.
Watford’s MP said:
I believe that the Government must press on with its levelling up agenda. This government was elected on a mandate to give all Britons a real chance at a better life, and the opportunity of home ownership and security must be at the heart of this.
However, as I made clear in my response to the White Paper, Watford presents a unique challenge in that it is one of the most densely populated, but geographically small areas in England. I know housing numbers have been a concern for many residents which is why I have met with Ministers and raised concerns directly with the Secretary of State many times this year to argue that any increase in housing targets in Watford would risk our town turning into little more than a commuter belt for London over the coming decades. After a year of making the case for Watford it is welcome news that Ministers have agreed not to add further pressure to our town and will focus on its levelling up agenda elsewhere in the country.
Housing Secretary Rt Hon Robert Jenrick MP said:
This government wants to build more homes as a matter of social justice, for intergenerational fairness and to create jobs for working people. We are reforming our planning system to ensure it is simpler and more certain without compromising standards of design, quality and environmental protection.
The government is today encouraging councils to ensure that appropriate numbers of family homes come forward, with the right mix of home sizes, types and tenures for local communities.