Thursday 13th January 2011 – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
The Localism Bill must legislate for the presumption in favour of sustainable development or the Government will struggle to honour its pledge to deliver the new homes the country needs, warns the Federation of Master Builders (FMB) ahead of the Bill’s Second Reading by MPs.
Brian Berry, Director of External Affairs at the FMB said:
"With new house building at its lowest peacetime levels since 1924, the presumption in favour of sustainable development needs to be included in the new legislation or else the growing housing crisis will not be halted. Forecasts for new build housing completions in Great Britain are bleak and the real test for the Localism Bill will be whether or not it leads to more homes being built according to the population's needs."
"The Bill aims to hand more power to local communities to make decisions on housing and planning. Moves to empower communities to build new homes according to local need are to be welcomed, but the system must not allow those with property to deny the benefits of development to the wider community. Our fear is that the absence of a presumption in favour of sustainable development in the legislation is likely to restrict levels of new house building to below that required by the local population."
"The decision to retain the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) will also hamper housing delivery as it is expected to add around £18,000 per unit to production costs. The FMB is calling on the Government to return to the pre-election commitment made by the Conservative Party to “scrap CIL and non-site-specific planning obligations and instead introduce a single unified local tariff."