Laura Sharman 23 June 2020

Calls for a flexible zoning system to end housing crisis

A flexible zoning system would help build more homes in the UK and end the housing crisis, a new report has argued.

A critique of the UK’s planning system, published by Centre for Cities, argues that the current system rations land, restricts the supply of new homes, and decreases affordability.

It calls for the Government to adopt a flexible zoning system as seen in other countries. It argues that planning proposals which comply with a zone-based local plan and building regulations to be automatically granted planning permission.

The report states: 'Minimising the discretionary element in the planning system is the key to overcoming this housing crisis. In England, this requires a shift away from the current discretionary planning system towards the distinct approach of a flexible zoning system, as seen in other countries with more affordable housing.

'These problems discussed above are creations of the current planning system, and cannot be resolved so long as the fundamentals of the system remain untouched.'

Other recommendations in the report include replacing Section 106 agreements with a flat 20% levy on a development’s value for infrastructure and new social housing.

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