Only a few days to go: We’re raising £25,000 to keep TheyWorkForYou running and make sure people across the UK can hold their elected representatives to account.

Donate to our crowdfunder

Town and Country Planning Act 1990 (Amendment) Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 2:12 pm on 29th January 2010.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Shahid Malik Shahid Malik Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Department for Communities and Local Government 2:12 pm, 29th January 2010

The debate about whether there are enough powers will continue, but I am sure that the hon. Gentleman welcomes the fact that the Government have initiated a new council house building programme throughout the country. It will help to ensure that there are more decent houses for people from all sorts of background. There are some acute challenges in London in particular.

Although we support the Bill's overall intentions, we do not support the measure. The proposed amendment to the 1990 Act is not required to deliver the outcomes that the hon. Member for North Southwark and Bermondsey seeks and could negatively affect the use of a valuable planning instrument. Section 106 agreements can already be used to secure developer contributions to the provision of new, affordable housing.

The Government have a range of other delivery routes, such as the decent homes programme, which I mentioned and to which the hon. Gentleman referred, for the investment needed to fulfil our aim to make all social housing decent. Good quality, affordable housing enables stable and secure family lives. We are all healthier, happier and wealthier when we have decent homes close to schools, health care and transport links.

It is not an issue just for families. Good housing can improve our social, environmental and economic well-being. It helps to create better communities that can attract investment and skilled workers. Getting the design right can also improve the environment and reduce our carbon footprint. Strategic housing decisions are critical to the life chances of the next generation. Increasing the supply of housing, including affordable housing, is a central priority for the Government, as is improving the existing housing stock, particularly making all social housing decent.

To achieve that, the Government have four strategic goals. They are: to achieve a wide choice of high-quality homes, both affordable and market housing to address the community's requirements; to widen opportunities for home ownership, and ensure high-quality housing for those who cannot afford market housing, in particular those who are vulnerable or in need; to improve affordability across the housing market, including by increasing the supply of housing; and to create sustainable, inclusive, mixed communities in all areas, urban and rural.

I will now talk about decent homes.

Embed this video

Copy and paste this code on your website