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Planning algorithm abandoned

December 17, 2020 11:47 AM

U turn sign

We are not used to receiving any good news from the Government but we are about to get an early Christmas present. A controversial part of a planning White Paper was to introduce a new housing algorithm which would determine where and how many new houses should be built. It significantly ramped up the targets for many rural areas - here in Babergh our annual target was to jump from 416 to 750. Not only do we already struggle to hit the existing target but it would make the 5 years of work and 512 pages of the Joint Local Plan worthless.

The news broke in many newspapers - here are the words from The Times.

"Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick will scrap the planning algorithm that would have dramatically increased housebuilding in the Conservatives' southern heartlands, while development would have decreased in northern cities including Manchester, Liverpool and Newcastle. England's 20 biggest cities will instead take a larger share of new homes under revised plans. They will be required to provide up to 35% more housing than previously imposed, and will be encouraged to focus on family homes. It will mean councils reverting to totals drawn up in 2017. The Government announced the retreat in August and will complete it today. Mr Jenrick will present the change as part of the Government's levelling-up and post-Covid recovery agenda, saying that a tweak to funding rules will clear the way for more public spending on towns and cities in the North and Midlands".