Examination of Witnesses

Part of Levelling-up and Regeneration Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 12:15 pm on 23rd June 2022.

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Tony Burton:

There are two issues here. The first is the numbers, and I do not think it can be done by just adding up all the local levels, because the nature of the housing market is such that you need a blend of strategic and local insight. It is about how we make sure the discussions and negotiations that take place mean there is an effective blend.

There are particular opportunities to strengthen the identification of particular needs that would not otherwise be met, whether they be house sizes and types; questions around affordability and rent; or the provision of alternative tenures—community land trusts and others. There is plenty of evidence now that neighbourhood plans are providing a much more refined insight into what is needed in areas, which can then carry appropriate weight through not just planning decisions but housing decisions. That would ensure that whatever the total number, a higher proportion are meeting the needs that are being expressed and are not just being used for investment or other less publicly useful purposes.