Town Planning

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 4:21 pm on 26th May 2004.

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Photo of John Hayes John Hayes Shadow Minister (Communities and Local Government) (Housing and Planning) 4:21 pm, 26th May 2004

My hon. Friend is absolutely right. The real housing crisis involves not the net supply issue, but the relationship between provision and need. Look at building history: far more family homes have been built, typically in greenfield areas, than have houses suitable for single-person households. There are far too few adapted houses, wheelchair-friendly houses and houses for older people. There are far too few opportunities for those who want to downsize. Often, older people want to downsize because it is much more convenient for them to live in a smaller property, but they cannot do so while staying in the community in which they have lived and to which they owe their loyalty.

There are all kinds of supply issues, and all kinds of issues involving the match between provision and need, but those are not taken seriously into account by Kate Barker's report. I have heard nothing from the Government about them either.