Housing formula will favour south – LGA

Government plans to use algorithms to set how many new homes need to be built in local areas will lead to a housing boom in the south and fewer new homes in the north, councils have warned.

The Local Government Association said the new formula would see a stark variation in where new homes are required to be built without regard for the wider levelling-up agenda.

Analysis of the new government formula shows that the highest percentage increase in new homes growth will be expected in the Midlands and the south, with lower growth rates in northern regions.

The new methodology will also disproportionately impact on rural rather than urban areas. Some of the most rural places in England will see a requirement for a 59 per cent increase in homes, compared to a 20 per cent increase in major urban areas.

Under the new national targets, London will expect to see a 161 per cent increase in housing, with a 57 per cent increase in the south east and 39 per cent in the south west.

In comparison, proposed housing targets for the north east are 28 per cent lower than existing delivery, eight per cent lower in the north west and six per cent lower in Yorkshire and Humberside.

“Under these plans, some parts of the country will have to ramp up housebuilding with existing targets doubled. Others, mainly cities in the north, will be told they need to build less, which risks reducing the number of homes they had earmarked for development and bulldozing their current housebuilding plans,” said LGA housing spokesperson David Renard. 

Algorithms and formulas can never be a substitute for local knowledge and decision-making by councils and communities who know their areas best.” he said.

17 September 2020


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