Housing: Construction

Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government written question – answered on 5th February 2018.

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Photo of Derek Twigg Derek Twigg Chair, Statutory Instruments (Select Committee), Chair, Statutory Instruments (Joint Committee), Chair, Statutory Instruments (Select Committee), Chair, Statutory Instruments (Joint Committee)

To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what assessment his Department has made of the effect of his Department's house building targets on the ability of local communities to determine the outcome of proposed green belt developments.

Photo of Derek Twigg Derek Twigg Chair, Statutory Instruments (Select Committee), Chair, Statutory Instruments (Joint Committee), Chair, Statutory Instruments (Select Committee), Chair, Statutory Instruments (Joint Committee)

To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what target he has set for Halton Borough Council for new properties to be built in Halton each year for the next 15 to 30 years.

Photo of Derek Twigg Derek Twigg Chair, Statutory Instruments (Select Committee), Chair, Statutory Instruments (Joint Committee), Chair, Statutory Instruments (Select Committee), Chair, Statutory Instruments (Joint Committee)

To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what his policy is on (a) removing land for the green belt and (b) building on greenbelt land in areas where contamination has reduced the number of available brownfield sites.

Photo of Derek Twigg Derek Twigg Chair, Statutory Instruments (Select Committee), Chair, Statutory Instruments (Joint Committee), Chair, Statutory Instruments (Select Committee), Chair, Statutory Instruments (Joint Committee)

To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, if he will lower the target for house building in local authority areas which have a higher than national average number of contaminated sites.

Photo of Dominic Raab Dominic Raab Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)

The Government has not prescribed any house building targets. Furthermore, it is not appropriate for me to comment on the specific circumstances in Halton given the current consultation on its Draft Allocations Local Plan.

It is for local planning authorities to determine the housing requirement for their plans. This should be deliverable and take account of land constraints. The current approach for local authorities to assess housing need is too complex, costly and lacks transparency. This is why we have consulted on a new standard approach, which will provide a transparent and consistent basis for understanding the need for homes in each area. This is not a local housing target. Assessing need is the starting point in the process, not the end.

The National Planning Policy Framework is clear that a Green Belt boundary may be altered only in exceptional circumstances, using the Plan process.

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