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Housing: Long-Term Plan

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 4:33 pm on 9th February 2016.

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Photo of Brandon Lewis Brandon Lewis Minister of State (Communities and Local Government) 4:33 pm, 9th February 2016

The point I was making was that in the first year’s sales of right to buy homes in the reinvigorated scheme in London, properties have been replaced in the timeframe at a ratio of 2:1. That is a fact. The one for nine to which the right hon. Gentleman refers does not compare like-for-like figures—it is a totally false representation. On the wider scale, there is 1:1 as well. I would go further, as this is not about replacement. Once a home has been bought by someone who lives in it for five years, it does not disappear from the housing stock. The homes that are built are extra homes that increase the housing supply. Under the voluntary agreement, housing associations will deliver one extra home at least for every home that is sold. The Housing and Planning Bill, which the hon. Member for Westmorland and Lonsdale has consistently opposed, would ensure that the planning system plays a part in helping to drive up an increase in supply.

In the last Parliament, we reformed and streamlined the failing top-down planning system we inherited. Today, local people are in control and developing their own plans for house building, while the planning system is faster and more efficient.