Long-term Plan for Housing - Statement

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 2:42 pm on 11 January 2024.

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Photo of Lord Young of Cookham Lord Young of Cookham Deputy Chairman of Committees 2:42, 11 January 2024

My Lords, there is much to welcome in the Statement—namely, the increase in planning resources—but it represents a major change in government housing policy, which was not there when the levelling-up Bill was introduced. As the noble Baroness, Lady Taylor, said, this was introduced to head off a rebellion in the other place. As a result, the targets are advisory, not mandatory, and we are already seeing a result—not just in plans being withdrawn but in South Oxfordshire doing something unheard of in planning by deleting from its plan for development sites that had already been included. We may end up with more up-to-date plans eventually, but they will have fewer homes in them than the country needs. How will a democratically elected Government, committed to building 300,000 new homes a year, deliver that if they are totally dependent on the good will of local authorities that do not share that commitment?