Laura Sharman 16 February 2018

Counties call for strategic planning reforms to tackle rising house prices

County councils have called for strategic planning reforms after figures showed house prices in England’s counties rose at triple the rate of London last year.

The latest Housing Price Index reveals that county house prices rose 5.9% in 2017, compared to just 2% in London and 4.9% in metropolitan areas and cities.

The County Councils Network (CCN) said the current two-tier planning system is contributing to rising prices in those areas. It is calling for a ‘Statement of Common Ground’ (SoCG) - proposed in the Housing White paper - to be made over a county geography.

CCN is also calling on the government to be more radical in reforming developer contributions, removing restrictions on pooling Section 106 funds and providing county councils with powers to levy a ‘strategic CIL’.

Cllr Philip Atkins, CCN spokesman on housing, planning & infrastructure said: 'County councils are doing all they can deliver vital infrastructure at a time of severe financial restraint but we face billions in infrastructure gaps.

'The current system of CIL and section 106, alongside a prioritisation of infrastructure investment in urban areas, is driving up house prices in shire counties and leading to unsuitable development.'

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