Housing and Planning — [Sir Charles Walker in the Chair]

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 3:58 pm on 3rd March 2020.

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Photo of Neil O'Brien Neil O'Brien Conservative, Harborough 3:58 pm, 3rd March 2020

I thank all Members who have taken part in this afternoon’s brilliant debate. I was encouraged by the Minister’s words, particularly on temporary access. I strongly agree with Justin Madders in his coruscating critique of the fleeceholding industry. They are the timeshare salesmen and the dodgy wheel-clampers of our generation, and I hope that the Minister will clamp down on them very strongly. Perhaps the new homes ombudsman can be the vehicle for that.

I agree with the question posed by my hon. Friend James Daly about what affordable housing is. I think that the type of tenure most missing is cheap rented housing for working people. Although affordable housing is hugely needed, and my local council in Harborough has built a record amount of it, we need something for those people who are earning a bit and do not get social housing.

I was struck by the comments of my hon. Friend Derek Thomas about developer contributions. We must not go over the top, but on the other hand there is a reason why all economists agree that taxes on land and development are different to other types of taxes. If we lose developer contributions, we typically do not get more houses—just higher land prices and a bigger windfall for the lucky landowner.

Finally, there was a good challenge from my hon. Friend Jack Lopresti. We do need to build more houses. France has built twice as many houses as us since 1970, and French house prices have gone up half as much. Places such as the Netherlands have built more too. We need to learn from them. It is not about shoving more houses through the system; it is about having a proper, plan-led system to do it.

Motion lapsed (Standing Order No. 10(6)).