County councils should have a larger role in planning to help meet the housing crisis, according to the findings of two reports published today.
The reports - published at the County Councils Network (CCN) conference - highlight the ‘severe’ need for affordable housing in county areas.
A report from the Town and Country Planning Association for the CCN shows that nine in ten county councils have a ‘severe or moderate’ need for affordable housing.
On average, just one quarter of homes built in counties over the last seven years are affordable houses compared to 44% in London and 34% in cities and metropolitan boroughs.
The report calls for a stronger role for counties in planning and closer collaboration between the two tiers of council in county areas.
A second study by Catriona Riddell Associates calls for a re-introduction of strategic planning to closer align planning and infrastructure and to accelerate housing delivery.
Cllr Philip Atkins, CCN spokesman for housing, planning, and infrastructure, said: 'Whilst counties are taking matters into their own hands, their ambitions remain shackled by planning reforms that do not go far enough, especially on planning on a strategic scale.
'These reports today set out a series of recommendations to enable counties to do more to deliver the homes for people of all ages the country desperately needs; properties of the right tenures and in the right places, backed by the necessary infrastructure to ensure that we build sustainable communities, not just simply houses.'