Government plans no game changer

Sarah Davidson

September 6, 2012

Chris Wojtulewski, director of the planning consultants Parker Dann, claims today’s announcement by Prime Minister David Cameron to relax planning laws for homeowners and businesses wanting to extend their properties won’t make a difference.

He said: “”More controversial, but potentially much more effective, are the measures to get the diggers rolling on developments that are currently stalled.

“With demand for housing weak, many developers who bought land in the boom times are holding back on building in the hope the market will improve.

“The relaxation of the Section 106 rules may just tip the balance in their favour and get some of these schemes underway.”

But he warned this could be “drastic medicine with severe side effects”.

And he added: “Everyone agrees on the need to build more homes but building more homes at the expense of social housing schemes will come at a political cost for the government.

“The idea that the private sector will step in to replace council housing schemes dates back to the Thatcher era. Now, that orthodoxy is being put on hold in an attempt to kick-start the stalled construction sector.

“The trouble is that in a stagnant economy, the need to build more homes is greater, and so is the need for more social housing.”

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