Home UK News England's housing reforms will create 'generation of slums'

England’s housing reforms will create ‘generation of slums’

RIBA and housing experts in the country warn of erosion of building laws with fast-track housing proposals

The biggest shake-up of housing planning in England for decades has caused fury as it moves to fast-track the building of “beautiful” homes across the country that will “dilute” democratic oversight, choke off affordable housing and lead to “slum” living conditions.

Under the proposals that were unveiled on Thursday, planning applications based on pre-approved “design codes” would get an automatic green light, which eliminates an entire stage of local oversight within designated zones.

Land across England will be split up into three categories, for growth, renewal or protection, under what the housing secretary, Robert Jenrick, described as “once in a generation” reforms to sweep away an outdated system of planning and to boost construction.

This comes after WH Smith is looking at cutting 1,500 jobs, which is 11% of its workforce after the lockdown has caused sales to drop.

New homes, schools, hospitals, shops and offices would be permitted automatically within areas in the “growth” category. In “renewal” areas, proposals would be given “permission in principle”, which would be subject to checks and Green belt and areas of natural beauty would be protected.

While the proposed reforms are likely to appeal to developers, they have prompted stinging criticism from housing charities, planning officers and architects who have warned that a new generation of fast and substandard housing will be on the horizon.

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) described the proposals as “shameful” and said they would do “almost nothing to guarantee the delivery of affordable, well-designed and sustainable homes”.

“While they might help to ‘get Britain building’ – paired with the extension of permitted development rights last week – there’s every chance they could also lead to the development of the next generation of slum housing,” said RIBA president Alan Jones.

Hugh Ellis, director of policy at TCPA, criticised the reforms overall, saying: “This kind of disruptive reform doesn’t suit anybody, neither landowners nor developers. They’re turning the system on its head at a time when it’s working very well for the volume house builders – 90% of planning applications are approved and there are about a million unbuilt permissions.”

He added: “It’s about local democracy. When local people are walking down the street and come across a new development they didn’t know about, the answer will now be: ‘You should have been involved in the consultation eight years ago when the code was agreed.’

“It’s diluting the democratic process. At the moment, people get two chances to be involved: once when the plan is made, and once when a planning application is submitted. Now they’ll only have a chance when the code is being prepared.”

This comes after PizzaExpress has said that it could close around 67 of its restaurants throughout the UK, putting up to 1,100 jobs at risk. The chain, which also revealed it has put itself up for sale, blamed the move on the “significantly more challenging environment” caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Eve Cooper
Eve Cooper
I've been writing articles and stories for as long as I can remember and in the past few years I've had the fortune of turning that love & passion for writing into my job 🙂

Breaking News Today is a small UK business struggling to stay afloat during COVID lockdown. If you enjoyed this article or found it useful please subscribe to all of our social media outlets.

288,345FansLike
813FollowersFollow
820FollowersFollow
10SubscribersSubscribe

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Stay Connected

288,345FansLike
813FollowersFollow
820FollowersFollow
10SubscribersSubscribe

Must Read

New restrictions may last for six months after ‘perilous turning point’

Announcing the new restrictions, Boris Johnson has said that the UK has reached a "perilous turning point" in its fight against the...

Leighton Buzzard hit by third earthquake in two weeks

Leighton Buzzard in Bedfordshire has been hit by a 3.0 magnitude earthquake, the third earthquake in two weeks, the British Geological Survey...

‘Work from home if you can’ and 10pm pubs and restaurants curfew

Boris Johnson will update MPs and the nation on new coronavirus measures at 12.30pm, with a Downing Street broadcast at 8pm

COVID-19 cases could reach 49,000 a day unless infection rates slow

The government's chief scientific adviser has said that this would translate to "200-plus deaths a day" by November with 49,000 daily cases