6 August 2020: Response to the Government white paper document

In response to the Government white paper document – Planning For the Future Stonewater’s Executive Director – Development, Jonathan Layzell, said:

Jonathan Layzell

“We welcome the proposed ‘radical’ reform of the planning system to tackle current inefficiencies. In particular the introduction of a zonal planning system, to allow more land to be allocated for housing – especially in high-demand areas, as this could lead to hundreds of thousands more homes and be truly transformational.

‘However, we need to ensure that the new plans safeguard the delivery of a truly mixed tenure solution meeting the needs of families and individuals across our society by delivering homes for social and affordable rent, open market sale and sub market housing for sale such as shared ownership and the Government’s new First Homes initiative.

“In order to respond effectively to those with very genuine concerns about the creation of new ‘slums’ it would be a really good time to consider minimum internal space standards as well as setting some clear guidelines in terms of the density of new homes built and the creation of outdoor space.

“We see the potential, if the development industry takes the opportunity these planning reforms present, to build homes now that we can be proud of in 30, 50, 100 years’ time. We have a responsibility to focus on the quality, design, sense of place, and legacy of any new homes being constructed, and so we’re also very mindful that achieving this should not mean sacrificing care or responsibility to our environment.

“There is an opportunity for this to be a watershed moment in terms of the environmental impact of the homes we build and the contribution which they make to slowing climate change. The government and the industry must work together to seize that opportunity and to make a step change in terms of insulation and heating technology.”