William Eichler 26 June 2019

PM calls for new housing design laws

The Prime Minister yesterday called for new design laws to ensure high-quality homes in a speech dismissed by Labour as a ‘lame duck announcement’.

Addressing the Chartered Institute of Housing conference, Theresa May said there needed to be new design standards for homes, more social housing, and further tenant rights.

She said that Nationally Described Space Standards are currently a condition of granting planning permission in only a few local authority areas.

This has created an uneven playing field leaving ‘tenants and buyers facing a postcode lottery’.

Mandatory regulations would be universal and provide clear, national standards, the PM told the conference.

Mrs May also confirmed plans to end so-called ‘no-fault’ evictions and said a consultation will be published shortly.

There will also be further action on the Social Housing Green Paper agenda, according to the PM.

This will see more high-quality social housing built, better tenant rights ensured, and landlords will be required to demonstrate how they have acted on concerns raised.

‘This is a Government with a bold vision for housing and a willingness to act on it,’ said Mrs May.

‘A Government that has delivered radical reforms for today, and the permanent structural changes that will continue to benefit the country for decades to come.’

The number of additional homes being delivered in England has increased from 137,000 in 2010/11 to 222,000 in 2017-18.

However, according to a PAC report published today the Government's target of delivering 300,000 new homes a year by the mid-2020s is in danger because of a 'lack of decisive action'.

Responding to the PM's speech, John Healey MP, Labour’s shadow housing secretary said: ‘This is a lame duck announcement from a lame duck Prime Minister.

‘Her ministers have launched 83 housing consultations in the last three years, but little action or legislation has followed.

‘Today she still only promises change on building standards and social housing in the future.’

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