Stop the developers’ charter – set targets to meet housing need; not developers’ greed

Posted on: 24th July 2023

The government should stop the developers’ charter – and instead set targets to meet housing need, not developers’ greed
I’ve long proposed that local authorities should be required to set targets to meet need, rather than simply housebuilding targets.
Cornwall is a classic example which demonstrates that setting very high housebuilding targets has massively failed. Cornwall has grown faster than almost anywhere else in the UK. Housing numbers have almost trebled in the last 60 years, yet the housing problems of locals have never been worse. We’ve had the homes built to meet eye-watering targets, but they’ve mainly been driven by what makes the most profit for land-value speculators and developers rather than to meet need. The planning system is largely fuelled by greed than by need.
Not enough have been affordable/suitable to meet local need in the long run. Indeed the Conservatives told Cornwall it had to add an extra 7,500 homes on its current plan target (to 2030) because it said it must “accommodate the growing demand for second homes”!
Setting targets to meet need rather than filling the boots of high volume private developers and meeting the demand for second and holiday homes would enable our local communities to set the development agenda and to force developers to deliver what’s needed rather than what makes the highest return for land-value speculators.