Denham lashes out over shared housing

Nia Williams

April 15, 2010

These comments came after David Cameron laid a parliamentary motion calling for new shared housing planning permission requirements to be scrapped.

John Denham continued his attack by accusing David Cameron of a “devious misuse of the parliamentary process, apparently at the behest of the National Landlords Association”.

The new law requires planning permission for new shared housing where three or more unrelated people live together. The plans will limit shared housing in many areas affecting not just students, but migrant workers and those who rely of shared housing as an affordable housing option.

However, as the new planning rules are not retrospective they will not alleviate the problems associated with existing shared housing.

David Salusbury, chairman, NLA, responding to John Denham’s comments, said: “This smacks of electioneering. John Denham has been vociferous in his campaign against shared housing. This law was rushed through Parliament without a chance for debate, excluding MPs from having a say on this ill thought out policy. It would have been more honest for John Denham to make the case for this change in Parliament, rather than avoiding debate.

“Government needs to rethink these plans, work with MPs and stakeholders from all sides and come up with better proposals. We want to see more shared housing for people who need it and local authorities directly tackling the problems associated with houses in multiple occupation.”

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