Labour will scrap developer ‘get-out clause’ which has led to the loss of over 10,000 affordable homes

Politics / Wed 24th Apr 2019 am30 11:15am

Labour will scrap developer ‘get-out clause’ which has led to the loss of over 10,000 affordable homes

SHADOW Housing Secretary, John Healey MP, has announced that the next Labour Government will scrap ‘permitted development’ rules for new homes, ending a get-out clause which allows developers to “dodge” social housing obligations and build slum housing.

Permitted development rights introduced since 2013 allow developers to bypass the normal planning process by converting commercial spaces into housing without the consent of the council and local community. This gives developers a get-out from requirements to provide affordable housing and meet basic quality rules such as space standards creating ‘rabbit hutch’ flats.

These Conservative changes were introduced to boost house-building numbers, but the measures mean housing units just a few feet wide in former office blocks are now counted in official statistics as ‘new homes’. There are 42,000 new housing units that have been converted from offices since 2015.

Research by the Local Government Association has estimated that over 10,000 affordable homes have been lost as a result of permitted development in the last three years alone.

Research for the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors found that permitted development has “allowed extremely poor-quality housing to be developed”, with only 30% of homes built through permitted development meeting national space standards.

John Healey MP, Labour’s Shadow Housing Secretary, said:

“Conservative permitted development rules have created a get-out clause for developers to dodge affordable homes requirements and build slum housing.

“To fix the housing crisis, we need more genuinely affordable, high-quality homes. This Conservative housing free-for-all gives developers a free hand to build what they want but ignore what local communities need.

“Labour will give local people control over the housing that gets built in their area and ensure developers build the low-cost, high-quality homes that the country needs.”

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9 Comments for Labour will scrap developer ‘get-out clause’ which has led to the loss of over 10,000 affordable homes:

2019-04-24 15:59:05

Really, so are you implying that it's the residents of these "slums", are un-fit to be housed ? Properties of any description are NOT slums, or am I missing something ? So, what is the master plan then ? How does Labour decide whose slummy, or isn't ? Are most of these dwellings, paying rates to their local councils ? If so, these Labour councils belong in the same group as the likes of Peter Rachman. Now folks, you do realise what the Corbynski really do stand for. Labour breeds P O V E R T Y

2019-04-24 18:13:23

It is not the residents that are unfit to be rehoused but the accomodation that they are given. Properties can be described as a slum, so yes, you are missing quite a lot. Wikipedia describes a slum as "A slum is a highly populated urban residential area consisting mostly of closely packed, decrepit housing units in a situation of deteriorated or incomplete infrastructure, inhabited primarily by impoverished persons" This description certainly matches some of the properties that have been created as a result of Conservative changes. Planning rules are there for a reason. Housing must meet basic quality rules such as space standards. When those standards are removed things like tower blocks going up in flames happen. But these buildings only house the poor and disadvantaged so why would any Conservative government care about this sector of society?

2019-04-25 06:13:25

Never mind ranting about your opinion, kthe5. Answer some of my questions. If Bliar and Brown hadn't sent this country almost broke, we would have been in a position to build a future instead of paying off debt. Labour breeds P O V E R T Y. Who gave the permission for the conversions ?

2019-04-25 15:38:36

Micky so it’s ok for you to rant but when someone dares to give a different view to your own all you do is criticise and complain. kthe5 is absolutely correct in their view. They have the same right as you to put their opinion forward. We can at least respect others views even if we disagree. It’s a disgrace that people are being housed in buildings that we’re never designed to be homes but offices. There is no infrastructure and very limited community cohesion around the office blocks in Harlow for families. This is never about the people who sadly have little to no choice in the matter. This is about how we as a society react and responded to these challenges. The current housing policy doesn’t work and we need a change. Let’s look to the future and learn from history not simply repeat it. Many thanks.

2019-04-26 05:51:14

Still no answer to the remarks that I made ? As usual with dur, lots of his innuendo and soft centered platitudes, but nothing much to say about content. I'm sure that kthe5 is mature enough to offer an opinion, or even, answer the questions. Perhaps you'll answer some of them, dur ?

2019-04-26 07:11:04

O Micky your so wicked and you do make me smile. Love the new way you have attempted to reduce my name to 3 letters. Priceless. Can’t wait for the reply. Enjoy your day.

2019-04-26 17:37:39

MickyB77 - My tardyness in reply is due to my own time constraints. I admire your attempts to blame Labour for failed Conservative policies. These failed Conservative rule changes have resulted in unsafe housing - think flamable cladding. The same failed Conservative rule changes that ignore the needs not only of the residents but any additional infrastructure required. The same failed Conservative rule changes that has resulted in an increase in crime at the same time as the failed Conservative policies have cut back on the police and other sevices. Your insinuation that the Labour council "allowed" this to happen is false. The failed Conservative policy that allows these office conversions to happen while breaking the normal planning process also puts restrictions any local council, Labour, Conservative, LibDem, Greens etc. Who gave the permission for the conversions? I don't know. But I do know that every local council has to opperate within the law. I have seen reports that he same law that allows these office conversions also prevents objections from local councils. I look forward to your next attempt to blame Labour for a failed Conservative policy.

2019-04-27 10:06:12

PFI. The profligacy of Bliar and Brown also cost us fortunes, and we're still paying off the debt. Remember the letter that Liam Byrne, Labour's Treasury minister left, " there's no money left , it's all gone ", he then resigned and pocketed thousands in severance money, along with most of the commie grandees. Plain as the nose on one's face, Labour breeds P O V E R T Y. It's the greed of this rotten council in Harlow, desperate for taxes, that has allowed this debacle to occur. Put the blame where it really lies.

2019-04-27 12:16:52

Micky not sure we’re you are taking the debate but you must agree that the change of use of office accommodation to temporarily housing without the need to make any application is wrong. No impact assessment both for the tenants and the wider community. No forward planning around public facilities such as schools and health provision. Families just moved from inner London authorities to office blocks some on industrial estates at short notice. This is beyond politics and is about how we as a society support and treat others. People regardless of their situation deserve better as god forbid tomorrow it could be someone you know or care about. There are no winners except the landlords making money. We do need an open honest reassessment about our shared community values. My guess is that the majority of the Harlow community would agree that housing people in office accommodation and the associated negative impact to both tenents and the wider community isn’t acceptable. This was a Tory Government decision and it was a bad decision. Let’s change it. Thank you.

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