Housing and planning

Last Tuesday the Communities Secretary of State made a speech about the need to build more homes and to provide more affordable accommodation. His intention to get many more homes built was clear. His local government audience had mixed feelings about the message and the means to bring it about.

Some local authorities do not have up to date local plans. The Minister was right to stress to them the continuing need to do this. Developers and owners of property look to the Council to set out in a plan which areas are protected, where development may occur, and how the Council will provide infrastructure to support new development. There is a need for some new development in most communities, and a need to relate this to the roadspace, public transport, schools, health facilities and the rest that are available.

The problems come more when there is an extant local plan. The Council may decide to concentrate the development of new homes in a limited number of places. This makes it easier to provide the services and transport links, and protects more residents elsewhere from additional development they may not want. A Council may set out enough space for the likely or required build rate.

If the developers who own or control these chosen sites do not then build at a fast enough rate to meet the targets, they or others may put in for planning permission elsewhere in the area. The Council will turn it down as against the plan. Then the Inspector on appeal may grant it on the grounds the Council is not hitting its build rate!

Because we have created such artificial scarcity by inviting in many migrants and not building enough homes, this gaming of the system can be profitable. The conversion of brownfield or greenfield to development land usually results in a big uplift in values, so why wouldn’t a developer want to exploit it?

The UK is both wedded to a planning system, and very critical of its results. This is another difficult disagreement between developers and Councils. I am exploring ways that we can reconcile these differences of view and approach between Councils, Inspectors and developers. We need to control development in a sensible way and bring demand and supply for new homes into better balance.

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108 Comments

  1. Lifelogic
    Posted July 10, 2017 at 6:37 am | Permalink

    Just relax planning, that is all that is needed. Get the state out of the way.

    We have absurd and irrational planning restrictions. It is fine to build a cow shed, barn or a pigsty without any planning but not a house, an extension or a flat to house people. You can often knock down a house or building and build another one in its place – but not build one next to the existing one and thus have two.

    It seem May & Hammond are going to some daft things to damage the economy shortly with the publication of the Taylor Report on the gig economy. What a misguided dope she is, good for lawyers and bad efficiency and the productive. Also get rid of the greencrap building regs that push up the costs and damage the quality of new builds.

    It seems Hammond might have failed to report a (potentially rather profitable) property land deal on the MP’s record. Let us hope this means he will have to go. He should of course be sacked just for total incompetence and his absurd attempts to kill Brexit. Also his attempted NI attack on the self employed that so helped lose the election.

    Anyone who supports HS2, Hinkley C, biofuel subsidies and all the other greencrap subsidies is clearly not suitable to be in any financial job at all.

    Still on a positive note it seems they might finally kill off the Swansea Barrage, perhaps the most absurd wast of money through green crap subsidies yet.

  2. Turboterrier.
    Posted July 10, 2017 at 6:50 am | Permalink

    @ Denis Cooper

    Surely it is so simple in that it needs all the politicians who want to leave the EU, at every opportunity talk the talk in every form of the media, especially the social media, giving out all the facts and figures on the reality of what price we are really going to pay if we are let down by the traitors within Westminster and are forced to stay shackled to a rapidly dying institution.

    Europe will be totally overwhelmed by the hordes of people coming from the African continent.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted July 10, 2017 at 11:04 am | Permalink

      Well, we now have Philip Hammond being rather dismissive about the benefits of new trade deals around the world, while saying nothing at all to counteract the Remainers’ routine vast exaggerations about the economic benefits of membership of the EU and its single market:

      http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/brexit-trade-deals-uk-benefits-limited-philip-hammond-eu-warning-a7829951.html

      “Free trade deals will have limited benefits for UK, warns Philip Hammond”.

      As it happens I completely agree with him on that and have said as much before, for example here in February:

      http://johnredwoodsdiary.com/2017/02/25/stop-the-exaggerations-about-brexit/#comment-858133

      “I’ve been saying for years that we seem to be into diminishing returns for the potential contribution of further trade liberalisation to increased prosperity. I repeatedly pointed out that TTIP would be of marginal economic significance, and other deals such CETA will have close to zero benefit for our economy. And by the same token I am not expecting too much from new deals that we might make after we leave the EU … ”

      Where I differ from Philip Hammond is in his ingrained europhilic reluctance to finally acknowledge that the overall economic effects of EU membership are also marginal.

      It is reported that the Treasury has demanded to know whether the benefits of new trade deals around the world will outweigh the damage caused by leaving the EU single market. I see this is a bloody cheek on the part of the Treasury given that they have proved incapable of accurately estimating the potential damage, with the National Audit Office now criticising their pre-referendum predictions and with a recent study pointing out where they went badly wrong:

      http://www.cityam.com/267371/treasurys-economic-models-have-grossly-overestimated-cost

      “Treasury’s economic models have grossly overestimated cost of Brexit”

      If Philip Hammond is going to campaign against Liam Fox and David Davis – and by implication continue to campaign in favour of the EU – then it seems to me that they have not just the right but the duty to respond and expose the partiality and incompetence of his department.

  3. alan jutson
    Posted July 10, 2017 at 6:59 am | Permalink

    The problem is not helped when a Local Authority actually has a plan, and then Government Ministers overrule the Local Authority.

    I agree we need joined up thinking between all participants.

    Would also help if the load was spread rather more evenly.
    We have had and still have massive building and development in central Berkshire, yet vey little in South Oxfordshire.

    • graham1946
      Posted July 10, 2017 at 9:49 am | Permalink

      Or when a plan is finally done, accepted by the Inspectorate and recommended for approval and is held by the Secretary of State for 6 months or more. What does he know about it? Is he more qualified than the Inspector? Amateurs again interfering in professional matters. Meanwhile rapacious planning agents and builders walk all over our local democracy, having our councils considerations trashed by default.

    • Turboterrier.
      Posted July 11, 2017 at 6:06 am | Permalink

      @ alan jutson

      I agree we need joined up thinking between all participants.

      Steady on Alan are you not expecting too much?

      Here in dictatorship Scotland local authorities are over ruled time and time again by the Scottish Parliament, the people are just completely ignored even though it is they that know the only way to improve an area is for it to expand its business and employment potential and that needs the right people with homes and good amenities available.

  4. Bryan Harris
    Posted July 10, 2017 at 7:01 am | Permalink

    #

    I always wonder why we have to keep building within cities or extending towns and villages.

    We have plenty of empty space in this country – we should make better use of the land that hasn’t been cultivated or built on outside of current living areas.

    Just look at how the South is becoming a concrete jungle, while so many houses up north remain empty and fewer houses seem to get built up there.

    Scotland is almost empty, and we have a few islands that could do with some people on – why don’t we take advantage of these?

    As regards immigrants – true refugees would be glad to live anywhere in peace, so why do they have to be jammed into our otherwise over crowded cities?

    It’s not just local planning that needs to be updated – we actually need a nationwide plan to make full use of our resourcses!

    #

    • miami.mode
      Posted July 10, 2017 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

      BH. Ridiculous comment. People need housing where there is potential employment and developers will only build where there is a reasonable possibility of selling houses to people who can afford them.

    • Turboterrier.
      Posted July 11, 2017 at 6:17 am | Permalink

      @ Bryan Harris

      Scotland is almost empty, and we have a few islands that could do with some people on – why don’t we take advantage of these?

      Who the hell in their right mind would come and live in dictatorship Scotland what with all the political unrest, high taxation, government with a hatred for the English, lack of amenities and a countryside totally trashed with wind turbines.

      In this corner of south west Scotland the for sale boards all tell the same story a hell of a lot of us have had enough and want to get out, its not only the disgruntled white settlers it is also the true Scots who are so disgusted with what their country has become.

  5. fedupsoutherner
    Posted July 10, 2017 at 7:02 am | Permalink

    If anyone wants to see what the effects of too much new housing and no improvement to infrastructure does then just drive the A27 between Chichester and Brighton anytime but especially between 7am and 7pm. You’ll be lucky if you still have your sanity.

    • OhDannyBoy
      Posted July 10, 2017 at 11:55 am | Permalink

      Funny you mention that – I had my first taste of the A27 from Brighton towards Eastbourne last Tuesday and will never use that road again unless absolutely essential. Then again, any trip on any motorway between 8am and 8pm is a completely draining experience. What will it be like when we have a population of 80 or 90 million? I will guess the plebs will be dissuaded to travel through road pricing and other means and the means to get around freely will only be available to the rich.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted July 11, 2017 at 8:34 pm | Permalink

        Try the M40/M25 junction travelling to Gatwick. It might take an hour in the middle of the night, or perhaps six hours, you cannot tell until you are stuck in the jam and thus miss your flight. The M25 needs to be at least double the width. Plus we need an HS train shuttle from Gatwick to Heathrow and a new runway at each.

  6. Caterpillar
    Posted July 10, 2017 at 7:07 am | Permalink

    Land value tax.

    • ian wragg
      Posted July 10, 2017 at 9:35 am | Permalink

      The socialist answer to appropriation of wealth. Start off low and slowly increase it until the state confiscates all assets.

      • Caterpillar
        Posted July 11, 2017 at 7:00 am | Permalink

        Ian Wragg

        LVT is known to be efficient, known to have worked the few times it has been used (as long as valuation is done well – insurance companies already do this). Other taxes can be reduced.

        The UK tax system is structurally wrong in many areas, wishing to improve the structure is different to arbitrarily desiring higher taxes as you refer. A slippery slope argument of what could occur under current Labour, Should not stop having an improved tax structure. An improved structure, correctly communicated, may even stop the quasi-revolutionary march.

      • Mike Wilson
        Posted July 11, 2017 at 11:27 am | Permalink

        The socialist answer to appropriation of wealth. Start off low and slowly increase it until the state confiscates all assets.

        Utter nonsense. If 6000 people own 60% of the land in this country it means they are depriving the other 64 million odd of us the use of that land. Funnily enough, we all need land. We need somewhere to, at least, stand. Better if we have somewhere to build a shelter and grow some food. But, not easy to do that when vast tracts of the country are owned by 6000 people.

        So, fine, if those 6000 people want to keep all that land to themselves, they need to compensate the rest of us. After all, they don’t really ‘own’ it – do they? It was there before them and it will be there after them. At best they simply occupy it while they are alive. But occupying it prevents me, and you, from occupying it. It means you, and I, have to pay a fortune for a tiny bit of the other land they don’t own.

        I could go on and on but I think, somehow, I’d be wasting my time. You’re a perfect lapdog for the 6000.

        Reply If you live in a free enterprise system then the rest of us have to buy land from those who own it. If we lived under a communist system then the state would nationalise it and we would all be tenants at will of the government. That would be worse for liberty and the economy.

        • Caterpillar
          Posted July 11, 2017 at 10:37 pm | Permalink

          Comment to reply @Mike Wilson

          But the LVT would encourage that sale of the land for development.

          • stred
            Posted July 12, 2017 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

            Then refuse planning permission in most cases and take CGT at 50% in real money or more. Got a big garden?

  7. a-tracy
    Posted July 10, 2017 at 7:18 am | Permalink

    We need to even up where Councils build social housing.
    Check how many Councils free up housing land in the wards of most deprivation and poorest schools and I bet there is more land allocated for building any tiny boxes they want, but come those desirable wards with the schools at the top of the league tables they’ll only be allocated building for the most expensive, exclusive estate living.

    No one town should have more than 25% social housing.

    The big named stars that think the UK doesn’t do enough don’t live in these wards of social need where 50% are in the poorest neighbourhoods, their children don’t share the same schools, doctors surgeries and until they do nothing will change.

  8. eeyore
    Posted July 10, 2017 at 7:23 am | Permalink

    I don’t suppose there’s any chance of government simply standing aside and letting a free market provide what people want, where they want it, at a price they want to pay? No? What a foolish thought.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted July 10, 2017 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

      Indeed. The government, market interventions and over restrictive planning are the problems.

  9. Mark B
    Posted July 10, 2017 at 7:28 am | Permalink

    Good morning.

    “You cannot put a quart into a pint pot !”

    Can we have homes, or at least somewhere decent to stay, for the homeless ? You know, those forgotten souls sleeping on street corners etc ? Lots around Westminster I see along with all those apartments.

    Amazing how we can find the will, and homes, for those who are unfortunate victims of Grenfell but not anyone else.

  10. Yossarion
    Posted July 10, 2017 at 7:38 am | Permalink

    We need to know what is the sustainable number of Humans that can live on this already overcrowded Island, those that say build on the green belt must think of the legacy left for those in a hundred years or so for future generations. we cant concrete over the whole of the Country until we run out of land. I recently saw an air photo of Wembley stadium under construction, it was a green field site, where will it all end.?

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted July 10, 2017 at 11:20 am | Permalink

      We’re pretty sure that this island could not accommodate the entire population of the world, so we must have the power to impose restrictions on immigration.

    • a-tracy
      Posted July 10, 2017 at 11:55 am | Permalink

      Well if we didn’t concentrate so much in London and the SE then it wouldn’t be so necessary, people move where the best job prospects and culture and arts and social lives. How many people in the North come home from work and face just the prospect of tv or the pub? GO was right with the Northern Powerhouse but the high powered jobs have to come first and the people with money demand better things to do locally. They won’t put up with no trains and buses to anywhere and no entertainment.

    • OhDannyBoy
      Posted July 10, 2017 at 11:59 am | Permalink

      Adding 1/3 million people to the population isn’t sustainable. Its utter insanity. I voted Tory in the hope that they would address this mess – a mess that is storing up problems for future generations to deal with – and what has happened? Nothing. JR himself admitted in a previous blog post that ‘we’ will still want to ‘invite large numbers’ of people to the country. What are the large numbers? And is this growth without end. Do we continue this plan for the next 20 years, 100 years, 200 years? What about water supplies, energy resources and so on. This has to be the biggest challenge facing the country and little is ever mentioned in the mainstream press.

      • OhDannyBoy
        Posted July 11, 2017 at 9:26 am | Permalink

        That should have read ‘1/3 million people annually‘.

    • rose
      Posted July 10, 2017 at 8:38 pm | Permalink

      30-35 million is the sustainable figure for these islands. We would have reached it naturally, as people were having fewer children – if we hadn’t had mass immigration.

      So not only are we leaving the future generations enormous debt which no past generation has done on such a scale, but we are leaving them an evergrowing and unsustainable population. This is reckless even if robots weren’t on the way..

  11. Old Albion
    Posted July 10, 2017 at 7:42 am | Permalink

    At least you touched upon the cause of the shortage of homes.
    Whatever changes to planning and development can be made, if any. It will come too late for Maidstone and the Weald. This once beautiful part of the Garden of England is rapidly disappearing under bricks & mortar with roads jammed full of traffic.

    • libertarian
      Posted July 12, 2017 at 11:24 am | Permalink

      Old Albion

      I moved to the village of Bearsted in 1962 pop then 1200 , i moved away from the village some years ago but still visit frequently. Oh and the population of Bearsted is now 14,000 !!!! To be fair the traffic in Maidstone town centre has improved since they made changes to the one way system , but with the new builds at Langley, Otham, Harrietsham etc etc the surrounding roads are chaos most days

  12. Lifelogic
    Posted July 10, 2017 at 7:59 am | Permalink

    Also there is often the demand (tax) on developers to provide X units of social housing and/or other planning gains taxes. So the people who buy a new property are then paying over the odds to subsidise others again – why? We already subsidise these people hugely through the tax system.

    Often this kills off developments completely, as they then no longer work financially.

    “BBC think” people always make the point that the new houses are “unaffordable”. Clearly they are not (as they do get sold). Perhaps they are “unaffordable” to some, but the person buying the new house then releases another (probably cheaper) house to the market. What is needed is more overall supply.

    • graham1946
      Posted July 10, 2017 at 9:57 am | Permalink

      Unaffordable is for first time buyers, not second and more which is why builders like to build 4 bedroom jobs. First time buyers do not free up another house, neither do immigrants being housed at public expense, nor do renters (if they can afford to pay rapacious landlords and manage to save). Builders no longer seem to build for cost plus profit but for market value. This makes new properties unaffordable. Rabbit hutches on tiny little land strips selling for quarter of a million upwards round here.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted July 10, 2017 at 10:49 am | Permalink

      Typically daft discussion of student fees/loan and abolishing them on the daily politics.

      If you abolish fees then who benefits? The higher paid graduated lawyers and the likes (who then do not have to pay back) and who suffers, the 50% of people who do not go to university who then have to pay more in tax for those that do and the low paid graduates who now have to pay tax to cover this cost (when before they would not have repaid anything of their loans).

      Rishi Sunak MP claimed people who go to university earn £1M over over a lifetime. I suspect this is a gross exaggeration, harking back to the days when only a few went to university. Even if true it is usually not that they earn more “due to having the degree” it is far more likely to be because they were brighter to start off with or have better connected and richer parents. A typical cause and effect confusion.

      Also of this claimed £1M they will probably lose about 70% of it over their lifetime (in income tax, NI, vat, IHT, IPT and the rest of the taxes or loss of benefits entailed).

      Plus they lose three + years of earnings while at university.

      The main advantage of fees it that is makes people think, is this university degree in say Anglo Saxon, Gender Studies or PPE from the University of Bognor really worth the £100K it will cost me? Or would I be better becoming a plumber or a sparky.

      At least half are surely not. Someone after all has to pay surely the person who get the “benefit” should pay.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted July 11, 2017 at 8:20 am | Permalink

        The virtues of conservatism have to be explained, says Tim Stanley in the Telegraph today. Not much chance of that under Theresa May, she clearly hasn’t understood it herself yet.

        We need to start teaching it in schools he says. This seems rather unlikely as so many teachers (like most state sector workers) are “BBC think”, magic money tree, climate alarmist pushing, pro EU, anti freedom of choice (especially in education) lefties. As is much of the teaching materials and much of the exam syllabi.

        http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/07/11/tories-not-evil-takes-explaining/

    • Spratt
      Posted July 10, 2017 at 5:57 pm | Permalink

      What is needed is less supply of people

      • Lifelogic
        Posted July 11, 2017 at 8:21 am | Permalink

        Or better still a more selected and discriminating supply of people.

    • rose
      Posted July 10, 2017 at 8:40 pm | Permalink

      By the euphemism “affordable” they really mean “subsidised”. They can’t say council housing any more.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted July 11, 2017 at 8:24 am | Permalink

        Indeed, what they mean is they want other people to pay for their families housing as well as having to pay for their own families housing.

        Do councils actually get any net rent from their large housing stock after all the running costs? Just sell it all off and use the receipts to cut taxes.

        • graham1946
          Posted July 11, 2017 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

          That’s already been tried and the result is no spare ‘council housing’. Had the proceeds of selling them been invested in building new ones instead of pouring it down the tax cut drain and welfare where no-one actually notices the benefit, we’d now have as many ‘council houses’ as were sold and the situation would not be so dire and we’d not have to put people up in rented accommodation to the benefit of landlords which has just spiralled rents to no real benefit except to said landlords. Problem is not practical, but dogma – private ownership good, community bad. Similar to the North Sea taxes, all wasted instead of a sovereign wealth fund which would be very handy now.

  13. Peter Wood
    Posted July 10, 2017 at 8:06 am | Permalink

    Off Topic,

    Dr. Redwood, I see there are questions concerning defence later today, will you kindly ask what commitment the UK has made to the new EU Common Security and Defence plans? How might this conflict with our NATO obligations?
    Kindly make this a topic here for discussion.
    Thank you.

  14. margaret
    Posted July 10, 2017 at 8:17 am | Permalink

    Rather than looking for new space, it would be a good idea to demolish many streets where a few houses are occupied and start again. There are may areas which could have low rise flats and 2-3 stories with green in between . In the 60’s they used to call them maisonettes . They don’t need to be cheap and nasty looking on the outside and the ‘slum’ areas could be improved.
    We need to keep as much green as possible . The continual building of new houses on new spaces could go on infinitum. If there are not enough houses then migrants must go somewhere else.
    I would like to buy a small holiday home in the sun for my self , family and letting. Would Brexit affect this in any way ?

    Reply Why should it? Brexit certainly wont change the rules allowing you to buy in Florida

    • agricola
      Posted July 10, 2017 at 11:56 am | Permalink

      Councils could start thinking laterally. Those with social housing occupied by elderly retired people could free it up for young productive people by said councils buying modern flats here in Spain. Much cheaper than building in the UK. The climate is better, the atmosphere is pollution free, medical services are excellent and readily accessible, food is cheaper fresh and healthy, assuming you can cook, rents could be lower. Flights for the family to visit and enjoy the pool are cheap. Rubbish is collected daily in summer and every other day in winter. For those with a car, driving conditions are like the UK was in the sixties except the roads are excellent. There is the AVE (HS2) all over the country and rail travel is cheap. It really is a no brainer.

      • margaret
        Posted July 11, 2017 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

        This is good that I have evidence of someone living there in Spain.

        • hefner
          Posted July 12, 2017 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

          Depending how you like it, it can be rather hot: around 30 to 38 this last week in most towns in the afternoon, even near the coast, Marbella, Valencia …
          Best seasons are likely to be spring and fall.

  15. Leslie Singleton
    Posted July 10, 2017 at 8:45 am | Permalink

    Dear John–There is unarguably obvious extreme pressure on housing, most of it from immigration–Every single town and village and even a cute little old redundant brewery near me has a new housing estate being built, sometimes two or three, and it is not as clear to me as the dreaded statistics appear to show (Yes that does mean I have doubts about them) that it is sensibly possible, without wholesale and unwanted change in these places, to double or treble, or whatever it is that some people want, the rate of building. We are a small island and it is criminal what has been done primarily by Blair. Personally I would rather, and in fact do, live in a Cowshed than these not so much (pace Dylan) “little boxes” (if only more of them were) all alike–“Executive homes” my Aunt Fanny. This was England.

  16. Anonymous
    Posted July 10, 2017 at 8:47 am | Permalink

    We are literally destroying our country.

    Around here we are promised homes for local shortages but as soon as they are built councils from major cities buy them up and move yet more people in. At the same time we are seeing the hospital close as the town gets bigger. The schools and the roads remain the same sizes.

    Our street (very busy with traffic now) saw its first knife attack this month.

    Elsewhere in the region factories are being closed and knocked down and housing estates built on their sites. As the jobs go more people are being moved in.

    This is a population crisis, not a housing crisis and it is getting worse. Please stop pretending that it can be solved because it can’t.

    All that pretending to solve problems does is create the impression that politicians are still relevant.

    • Anonymous
      Posted July 10, 2017 at 8:51 am | Permalink

      Housing is the root of the Corbyn upsurge. Youngsters with no hope of owning a home have no reason to vote Tory and every reason to vote for a confiscator.

      They have been indoctrinated to believe that halting immigration is evil and that the importation of competitors for their jobs and housing has no effect on their wealth.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted July 10, 2017 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

        Indeed just over 50% of the country pay no tax above what they get back in immediate benefits for them and their family. This while the other half pay for all the cost of the bloated and hugely wasteful state sector.

        It is a fault of democracy that the many can vote to thieve off the wealthy few. It does not work for long as they leave and it destroys all incentives. But the young can be rather gullible to the Corbyn/rubber cheque/let be Venezuela con trick.

      • Dennis
        Posted July 10, 2017 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

        There is no shortage of housing – in fact there are too many houses What there is is too many people – so obvious but no politician dares to say it.

      • rose
        Posted July 10, 2017 at 8:43 pm | Permalink

        Yes, you have put it very well. This is a national emergency but no-one is publicly recognizing it as such.

    • nigel seymour
      Posted July 10, 2017 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

      Build more homes for who???
      Immigrants who come here in search of work and hope to bring their dependants. Grenfell was unfortunate and ‘people’ lost their lives. Were these people immigrants without jobs claiming benefits?? What was to blame?? Until the judge is appointed and is given a chance to investigate and file his report then everything is up in the air…Meanwhile, politicians make political hay…

  17. Mike Wilson
    Posted July 10, 2017 at 9:03 am | Permalink

    Well, here is a heads up for you Mr. Redwood. The local housing market is stagnating. Soon stamp duty receipts will drop and all the economic activity generated by house moves – from ordering a skip to new carpets, kitchens etc. will grind to a halt.

    The new housing market limps on, propped up by Help to Buy. Help to Buy is now killing the secondhand market. Another Tory house price crash and recession is about to happen.

    • alan jutson
      Posted July 10, 2017 at 10:19 am | Permalink

      Mike

      An eventual significant rise in interest rates will cause a big negative effect on the housing market and the so called present affordability factor for many.

    • Mark B
      Posted July 10, 2017 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

      Yep !

      And I am in a position to know 😉

    • Fed Up
      Posted July 10, 2017 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

      Good thing 70% of our economy isn’t dependent upon the housing market then. Oh wait…

      • libertarian
        Posted July 12, 2017 at 11:27 am | Permalink

        Fed Up

        Total cobblers 70% of our economy has nothing to do with the hosuing market

  18. alastair harris
    Posted July 10, 2017 at 9:06 am | Permalink

    The planning system is to complex, and often entirely arbitrary. It flies in the face of natural justice. It supports the jobsworth approach. Government should set a national framework. Local councils should set local conditions. And there should be an independent market led implementation scheme. The overall approach should be anything is permitted unless it is explicitly outlawed. Remove the delays and you remove the need for (excuse for) land-banks. Allow the large players no more than 12 months worth of committed forward build. And scrap the listed building nonsense. If there is demand then the protectionists should compete in the market.

  19. The Prangwizard
    Posted July 10, 2017 at 9:13 am | Permalink

    I think Mrs May ought to put her political beliefs and aims into the slogan ‘Whatever Labour wants, Labour gets”.

  20. Denis Cooper
    Posted July 10, 2017 at 9:21 am | Permalink

    Off-topic, Verhofstadt seems not to understand that after we have left the EU the citizens of the other EU countries will of course still have their own foreign citizenships but they will not have any kind of UK citizenship of this country, not a first class UK citizenship or a second class UK citizenship or any other class:

    https://euobserver.com/uk-referendum/138470

    “The leaders of political groups, which together have a broad majority in the European Parliament, criticised the UK’s offer on citizens’ rights as a “damp squib” that risks “creating second-class citizenship”.”

    If they want UK citizenship, of the same class as the rest of us, then they can apply for naturalisation once they satisfy the requirements. Until then, they may reside in the UK with something like the old status of “denizen”, but not that of “citizen”.

    If it ends up with the EU Parliament scuppering the whole exit deal, as Verhofstadt is threatening, then so be it; we will just have to make sure that the wider world knows why and understands the sheer stupidity of his position. Which they could understand now, if the UK government and in particular David Davis could be bothered to set up media units to counter the rubbish which is constantly churned out by our opponents.

    • Richard Butler
      Posted July 10, 2017 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

      Checkout Newsnight interview of Hungarian Foreign Minister by Remaoner in Chief, Jame s O’Brien. It’s on Youtube.

      The Minister confirms between 3 and 4.30 mins that a good mutually beneficial free trade deal MUST be done just as I have been saying all long.

    • rose
      Posted July 10, 2017 at 8:48 pm | Permalink

      It looks as if the unreasonable demands on behalf of every EU passportholder who has ever lived here – not just the ones here now – and their descendants and importations, all to be overseen by the ECJ for a hundred years or so have been cooked up to make us walk away. Presumably the thinking is that then the remainiacs will rise up and keep us in.

  21. Bert Young
    Posted July 10, 2017 at 9:23 am | Permalink

    Local planning for housing is bludgeoned with all forms of bureaucracy and red tape . On top of this problem is the level of taxes when purchase or selling is concerned .

    As the most congested country in Europe we cannot turn our backs on the problem that immigrants – of all types , produce . The sooner we can put a complete stop to this the better . We have values here that ought to count and preserving our countryside is one of them .

    Government has to lead the way with robust policies and black and white statements . The time for mamby pandering liberalism is over .

  22. Denis Cooper
    Posted July 10, 2017 at 9:27 am | Permalink

    Also off-topic, those who are concerned that it may be impossible to finalise and fully ratify any EU deal within the two year timescale suggested by Article 50 TEU may be interested in this small item about “provisional application”:

    https://euobserver.com/tickers/138467

    “EU-Canada trade deal starts provisionally in September”

    “Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau and European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker agreed at the G20 summit in Hamburg to start the provisional application of the EU-Canada free trade deal (Ceta) on 21 September this year. Some chapters, for instance on the investor court system, will not be applied. The accord will enter fully into force once all EU member states ratify it.”

  23. Posted July 10, 2017 at 9:35 am | Permalink

    The plan led system is fatally flawed, worse than it was in the 70s, I should know because I worked for an architect at the time, the system has gradually been crippled through strangulation by regulation.

  24. Epikouros
    Posted July 10, 2017 at 9:42 am | Permalink

    Leaving markets to decide what houses are built, where and in what quantity is rationally the best option as they have proven to be the best means for calculating demand and devising means to supply that demand. Many social, environmental and political arguments have been put forward in opposition to leaving it solely to free enterprise. Like most of the free market capitalist system those type of arguments have some basis in fact and show that some form of oversight to ensure quality, order, honesty and fairness is necessary. Unfortunately those with left wing views tend to demand that that oversight be far more extensive that in reality is necessary. The result being especially in some areas like housing, health, welfare the state has taken a disproportionate role in the planning and control of the supply of the products and services.

    In consequence the quality and quantity of supply and demand have been considerably compromised. Abuse, waste, inefficiency, mismanagement and cronyism has taken over the system. Attitudes have to change if we are to have a prosperous, secure, socially just and moral society. Socialist and progressive dogmas have to be ditched in favour of more pragmatic solutions. Adaptations and modernisation of those that have worked so reasonably well in the past and have given us the standard of living that we so much enjoy today but have been distorted to almost uselessness in some cases by left wing interference need to be introduced instead.

  25. Mr Obvious
    Posted July 10, 2017 at 10:24 am | Permalink

    “Some local authorities do not have up to date local plans. The Minister was right to stress to them the continuing need to do this”
    The government of course will have immediately clipped the salaries by 10% of the Heads of Councils and appropriate departments who need such a reminder.

  26. ferdinand
    Posted July 10, 2017 at 11:15 am | Permalink

    One of the problems is that homes tend to be owned by banks not by the occupants so they also have to be brought into the picture.

  27. stred
    Posted July 10, 2017 at 11:29 am | Permalink

    Expecting LAs to solve the housing crisis is hopeless. They obstruct planning and enforce onerous building regulations which put up cost and reduce useable space. The regulations covering the clean up of brownfield sites also makes some sites unviable.

    Councils cannot even manage their own housing stock properly. This is why neither Labour nor the Tories will get tough with sub-letting, especially in London. It is too embarrassing. They hive of the management of council property to tenants associations such as the one in Kensington, created by Labour. The leaders pay themselves very highly and do nothing to check who is actually living in the subsidized properties, how they are being altered, fire doors and closers removed or how escape routes are being used for dumping dangerous objects. They use their large environmental health departments to enforce strict standards on private landlords, but not their own.

    They cannot even know who is missing after a fire or who is a subletting tenant making more from market rents than their subsidy.

    A separate and clean housing authority may be the only way to provide a useful number of homes, properly managed.

  28. Mike Wilson
    Posted July 10, 2017 at 11:31 am | Permalink

    The thing I hate most about council planners is their absurd idea that houses have to be ‘in keeping’. That stupid, ill-conceived, idiotic mentality has given us the modern estates which blight this country. The most interesting roads are ones where each house is different. Look at somewhere like Henley – everything from thatched cottages to walls of glass/white render. Looks great.

    The best built environments are the ones that were built before planners came into being in, I think, 1944. Planners have been a disaster. 60s tower block anyone? Nice block of low rise pre-cast concrete flats straight from the Urals? Anyone up for a mock-tudor estate house?

  29. ian
    Posted July 10, 2017 at 11:54 am | Permalink

    All down to do gooders in parliament that you vote for, with international laws which are outdated for a country like the uk, that has a population crisis. Till you see your MPs in parliament make a stand against these laws which they can, it will be business as usual. These problems have nothing to do with houses builders, and when was the last time the gov built a hospital instead of closing one down, and as for staff they have more than they need, it just that the pay is so good the nurses and doctor do need to work as long hour as they use to. All propaganda, with people as usual having no say on what goes on, but lobbyist from businesses and outside organization having all the say they want to save the gov money and bring the gov in more taxes, while enriching themselves.

  30. Bob
    Posted July 10, 2017 at 11:56 am | Permalink

    I remember see a newspaper article about a whole street of 100 house in the north for sale for £1 the lot and no one was interested, not even the local housing associations.

    Here is a similar story:
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2184334/Empty-houses-sale-1-Britains-cheapest-street.html

    Refugees generally prefer places like Kensington, Chelsea, Regents Park or Maida Vale.
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1293730/Somali-asylum-seeker-family-given-2m-house–complaining-5-bed-London-home-poor-area.html

  31. The Prangwizard
    Posted July 10, 2017 at 11:58 am | Permalink

    Once upon a time the Conservatives believed in free enterprise – remember that?

    Developers and builders would try to anticipate demand based upon natural birth rates, rising properity and so on. They cannot be blamed if they can’t keep up with deliberate attempts by government to change the nature of the market by encouraging millions of immigrants, many of which are thought of as ‘gimmigrants’.

    Contrary to many in government and no doubt the PM it is not an obligation of the building industry to build enough houses to satisfy an artificial demand. It is the government’s job to protect its citizens and its cultural heritage. It is of course acting contrary to this.

  32. Denis Cooper
    Posted July 10, 2017 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

    http://www.standard.co.uk/news/uk/revealed-brexit-risk-to-uk-cancer-patients-fears-over-shortage-of-vital-isotopes-used-in-cancer-a3584076.html

    “Revealed: Brexit risk to UK cancer patients – fears over shortage of vital isotopes used in scans and treatment”

    “Theresa May today faced a Tory rebellion and a stark warning that “thousands” of cancer patients face delays to their treatment as a direct result of Britain’s decision to quit the European nuclear body Euratom.”

    So what has David Davis to say about that? Nothing, George Osborne gets this rubbish read by millions of people and David Davis cannot be bothered to rebut it.

    For crying out loud, ex-SAS he may be but at his age nobody’s expecting him to abseil down and hurl a stun grenade through the window, however could he not employ some people with the job of rebutting such nonsense and slap down its authors?

  33. Hark a Cologist!
    Posted July 10, 2017 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

    Statistics differ but it is thought people had homes in the UK 700,000 years ago. The Guardian says new evidence says it was 950,000 but they cannot be trusted to count properly.
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/5317762.stm

    So the powers-that-be have had between three quarters of a million years and the best part of a million years to get their house in order and correctly get supply and demand of housing in the right balance. Government should update their technology to Abacus and send civil servants out for skills update at Ye Olde Mudder n Toddler Tribal Group located just past the Wizard’s hovel.

  34. nigel seymour
    Posted July 10, 2017 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

    J, Seems to me that TM may well be on the long road to capitulation and capitulation and yet more capitulation. Your backbenchers now and again flex their political muscle and ruffle a few feathers in the cabinet…Is it more than ruffling feathers or just playing to the media and political commentators and whom their jobs may depend come another GE?

    I see a number of the the great and good are keen to see themselves as Treasury Committee Chair!!. For me it should be JRM. Morgan is still pissed at being sacked and wants only to see TM lose her job. How sad is that???

    Looking forward to TM setting out her position tomorrow and standing fast on seeing Brexit through.

    Get back our full Sovereignty,
    Respect those that died and fought in the Great War and WW2,
    Ensure UK law totally prevails
    Out of the Single Market
    Out of the Customs Union
    Get back our Fishing waters
    Ensures all EU car manufacturers are hit with UK tariffs over and above those imposed by the EU when we leave.
    Ensure that EU and non-EU immigrants are able to financially support themselves and their family before claiming housing or social benefits. Suggest 35k per annum.
    Ensure the UK does not pay through the nose because piddly EU members are unable to provide their fair share of money into the EU coffers.

    • graham1946
      Posted July 11, 2017 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

      Why should a few malcontents in the Tory party have any say? The vote was ‘leave’. End of. If they don’t like what the people say, they should resign. Any backsliding and Corbyn will be in before 2020. Perhaps that might concentrate a few of their EU minds.

  35. Richard Butler
    Posted July 10, 2017 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

    More building begets more people. You simply congest the south making it even harder to get around (people bemoaning time fire services took to get to Grenfell). Less land for food, means more reliance on harmful pest control spraying and imports.

  36. Doug Powell
    Posted July 10, 2017 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

    Off Topic: JR, I feel it is time to return to Brexit. For a week now we have had Remoaner after Remoaner advancing ‘kill Brexit agendas’ and assorted nonsense, with not as much as whimper by way of rebuttal from the Brexit luminaries.

    Yesterday we had Cable announcing to the nation that Brexit won’t happen, then suggesting a second referendum would be a way of getting HMG ‘off the hook!’ And today, we have the PM almost on her knees appealing for help from other parties in governing the country! Has this Conservative HMG given up on Brexit?

    I am beginning to suspect that the Brexit camp has more than its fair share of Quislings and Benedict Arnolds within it ranks!

  37. lojolondon
    Posted July 10, 2017 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

    Speaking for all Conservatives, John, we do not want more houses, we want less people. But no politician can ever say that, because the BBC will make your life hell.

  38. Little Englander
    Posted July 10, 2017 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

    BEFORE ANYTHING ELSE: we need some really tough legislation to hold Developers accountable for the rubbish that they build in their RUSH to put a roof on. People struggle to get the wherewithall together to buy these new builds only to find once they are in that there are MAJOR and serious defects ( no insulation throughout being just one of them) not simply ‘snaggings’. These from some of the biggest Building Groups in the land and it’s a national disgrace. Developers need to understand that there will be serious legal implications when they default ‘big time’ in the way that they do – side stepping the issue by blaming Contractors and sub-Contractors is unacceptable. Get legislation up first then bring on the house building program – it will incentivise Govt to ‘get on with it’ and once in place it will incentivise Developers to conform to standard or face the consequences which need to be SEVERE. Other people pay the price for shoddy performance by new build developers and an inattentive Govt Dept who know what’s going on.

  39. Dennis
    Posted July 10, 2017 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

    How to reduce population and still have some immigration!

    Easy – The number of immigrants should be , say, half the number which emigrates. So yearly the UK population reduces as much as desired, fairly and user friendly. Job done.

  40. AJJ Khan
    Posted July 10, 2017 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

    Building new housing will inevitably affect property prices – downwards – which is unfortunate. We should therefore reduce the quantity of houses by returning their sites to green fields, woodland, marshland, etc thereby avoiding negative equity.

    If we get control of our borders, reduce immigration and increase emigration – substantially – many benefits will accrue, such as reducing pressure on housing, the NHS, bringing down the welfare bill, saving wear and tear on the roads, reducing air pollution etc etc

  41. Fed Up
    Posted July 10, 2017 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

    None of the public have ever asked for mass immigration – it’s a reckless policy that’s been foisted on us by politicians without public consent and is still on-going. I suggest we kick out the politicians responsible from their second, third and fourth (etc) homes and give these to the immigrants rather than concreting over our countryside. Secondly STOP mass immigration before building on any of the greenbelt – otherwise what’s the point – this will never end until the whole country is concrete.

    You know, we do need some green land available to actually grow food.

  42. ian
    Posted July 10, 2017 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

    Keynes would rollover in his grave if could see what these politician world wide have done in his name through propaganda.
    What the problems. The absolute corruption of humans and their political and financial institutions hear and abroad. The stupidity and apathy of the general population who vote for it all the time with out question, and will continue to do so, and macro demographic which politician take no notice of and refuses to put in the infrastructure needed for the size of population they want hear.

  43. ian
    Posted July 10, 2017 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

    I do not know why people come on this blogs and complain about things when they know they have just voted for the same old same old, and knowing that parliament is full of people who do not hold their views, but continue to vote for failure. I can not make head nor tail out of it.

  44. Chris
    Posted July 10, 2017 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

    On an aside, but deadly serious. We need someone very strong and bold at the helm. May/Damian Green pleading to the Lib Dems and Labour is just not going to make it. What a disaster:
    http://www.express.co.uk/news/politics/826871/Brexit-repeal-bill-coup-Labour-Lib-Dems-Greens-SNP-Theresa-May-Conservatives
    ” ‘We want to f*** over the Government’ Lib Dems and Labour in major Brexit coup

    LABOUR and the Lib Dems are planning their biggest coup yet against Theresa May in a bid to delay Brexit….”

  45. Iain Gill
    Posted July 10, 2017 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

    Problem is the political class, its group think, lack of real world experience, and having to play the game to exist within the system.

    New houses are in any case rubbish quality in this country, and all the checks and balances to keep the quality reasonable are routinely gamed.

    Much of the problem is the way state services are rationed according to your precise address, be they which GP you can see, which schools your child can use, which hospital consultants you can use, and so on.

    And of course we have none of the mainstream parties really fighting to properly drop immigration the way the electorate want.

    So its all a nonsense.

    Out of control nonsense.

    Mrs May wants all parties to contribute, she would be better off listening to the people outside the political system keeping the country going despite itself.

    • libertarian
      Posted July 12, 2017 at 11:29 am | Permalink

      Iain Gill

      Pretty much a spot on post

  46. Original Richard
    Posted July 10, 2017 at 5:49 pm | Permalink

    “We need to control development in a sensible way and bring demand and supply for new homes into better balance.”

    If current immigration and population growth continues undiminished then not only will the building of houses, schools, hospitals, roads, prisons etc. never be sufficient but their shortage will be of minor inconvenience compared to the degradation of both the environment and social cohesion.

    • Iain Gill
      Posted July 11, 2017 at 5:06 am | Permalink

      Correct

      Our system is breaking down because our people want immigration drastically reduced, yet our political parties select candidates who like open doors.

      So democracy doesn’t reflect the will of the people.

  47. Chris
    Posted July 10, 2017 at 5:49 pm | Permalink

    I am appalled by William Hague’s article in The Telegraph: “Bringing down the government for an ideologically pure Brexit would be unforgivable”
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/07/10/bringing-government-ideologically-pure-brexit-would-unforgivable/

    Does he realise that he is saying that he is effectively saying that he would do anything to enable the Cons to stay in power, even sacrificing the democratic will of the people/breaking the government’s promise to the people about the Referendum?

    That, Mr Hague, is quite treacherous, and totally unacceptable. What a mockery you make of democracy.

    • hefner
      Posted July 12, 2017 at 6:30 am | Permalink

      But that is exactly what the CUP is really good at: getting to and keeping power. In most other countries, the different points of view existing within the CUP would be distributed over two or three different parties, which would possibly have to enter into coalitions to form a government, but after expliciting and explaining these different points of view to the public. Britain as “the mother of democracy” is a mess: do you really think there is much in common between a Corbynista and a Blairite, between a JR and a Ken Clarke? But FPTP is what allows this to go on and on.

      • libertarian
        Posted July 12, 2017 at 11:31 am | Permalink

        hefner

        Its not FPTP that causes this its the underlying structure.

  48. Ken Moore
    Posted July 10, 2017 at 6:07 pm | Permalink

    The governments policy is a charter for ‘speculative land promoters’ who have the resources to bully local councils and ride roughshod over local democracy.
    10% for the promoter and the rest for the land owner who takes no risk as the deal is under a ‘no win,no fee basis’. It shouldn’t be allowed but the government quietly nods it’s approval.
    I can imagine Mrs May’s ‘policy advisor’ cackling ‘this will show potential Labour voters who much the ‘modern Conservatives’ despises those small c conservative selfish b****** living in the shires’ . Another of Mrs May’s ‘burning injustices’ ticked of the list.
    When is this wretched Maybot woman going to go..how much more damage is she going to do.

    There are often very good reasons why towns have developed as they have over many decades – a risk of flooding here, a need to provide transport and parking …space for people to work and travel as well as live. But all of these considerations are being set aside to accommodate an unsustainable demand for new housing. A happy balance had been struck but now all that is at risk.

    They the government must have literally gone mad – they know jolly well the people will not accept a reduction in living standards so they are using the planning inspectorate to ram these changes through.

    • graham1946
      Posted July 11, 2017 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

      ‘Speculative land promoters’

      Correct and I have knowledge of at least one of these outfits headed by an ex MP who specialise in getting planning permission on green belt land and AONB.

  49. Chris
    Posted July 10, 2017 at 7:21 pm | Permalink

    A further aside:
    http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/827018/Soft-Brexit-UK-Government-European-court-Justice-rule-Theresa-May
    Why is this happening, Mr Redwood? If true, it is quite unacceptable and defies the will of the people.

  50. JM
    Posted July 10, 2017 at 8:06 pm | Permalink

    1) We have a plan lead system; it is failing.

    2) Developers have little difficulty (despite what they say) in obtaining planning consent. The problem is that for very sensible commercial reasons the do not build out at the rate the country needs.

    3) Since local authorities stopped building homes, we have never achieved the necessary rate of housing development.

    4) The Thatcher government’s decision to permit owners of council houses to buy their homes was very good; the mistake was to prevent them from reinvesting the proceeds in new housing stock. That has to change.

  51. David L
    Posted July 10, 2017 at 10:34 pm | Permalink

    I read that Wokingham is now “An Area of Water Stress” thanks to the amount of new building around it. That can be added to insufficient medical facilities and a congested roads network. Yet the building carries on unabated. What purpose does the local authority serve? I know that many other towns face similar problems. Leaving the EU will not cure this destruction, it’s already too late for my home town.

    • Chris
      Posted July 11, 2017 at 8:48 am | Permalink

      David L – agree with your serious concerns. I live near to Wokingham and am witnessing the massive housebuilding programmes going on in the W and Bracknell areas, with more planned.

      Longer term, the EU Water Framework Directive does not encourage water transfer schemes from surplus to deficit areas, but stresses that other measures must be used first e.g. water metering to control supply, standpipes and so on. This is madness in view of the increasing population and demands on water by both the population and industry. The UK taken as a whole is a water surplus region, and what is needed is investment in large scale schemes of reservoirs/water storage and piping of water from surplus to deficit areas. This would provide a long term and sustainable solution. This idea is not new, and many years ago Thirlmere (Lake Distrcit, water surplus region) was used to supply the city of Manchester.

      It seems that the EU would rather put greater and greater hardship on individuals (it will come to some form of rationing, at this rate of building) than adopt more expensive long term solutions. O f course I recognise the need of individuals to not be wasteful with water, but we certainly do not deserve nor need to go back to a third world status water supply. We were leaders in the efficient and adequate supply of clean water to households. We are not now, and the situation will certainly not improve with the massive housebuilding programme and increased mass immigration as long as we are members of the EU.

    • alan jutson
      Posted July 11, 2017 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

      David

      Given the amount of building now going on in the flood plain areas, it may also qualify as a flood threat area at the same time as you suggest a qualifying for water shortage.

      Thus we may have the “wrong kind of water” problem, with possibly too much flood water, and not enough of the drinking type.

    • OhDannyBoy
      Posted July 12, 2017 at 10:14 am | Permalink

      Wokingham always appears in any kind of ‘best places to live in the UK’ kind of surveys. The town centre is pretty enough with a decent nightlife and we have decent schools and so on, but presumably traffic congestion is never a factor in these surveys. Wokingham is choking on its own traffic volumes while at the same time building over what green space it has left.

  52. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted July 11, 2017 at 1:50 am | Permalink

    Hart District Council has gone out to consultation on its draft local plan. Major amounts of housing are being considered for the area round Winchfield station, Murrell Green and western Hook (this third alternative they did not dare mention).

    In the meantime, political control has passed from the Conservatives and their allies to a coalition of LibDems and quasi-independents, a coalition of chaos.

    There are two fundamental objections to the planning and consultation process. Firstly, when structure plans are produced, there is no obligation to specify the road and other infrastructure improvements that will be needed. That can come later. A development around Winchfield station might require another junction on the M3. A development at Murrell Green might require a major revision of M3 junction 5 and a road parallel to M3 entering the back of the development, away from the A30 main road. A development at western Hook would present more or less unsolveable traffic problems.

    Much more serious is that the calculation of housing requirements up to 2032 has not been subject to sensitivity testing with regard to net UK immigration up to 2032. The calculations are presented in terms of natural population increase and net migration into Hart and two neighbouring authorities. In reality, net migration into UK is there in the background and it is based on current ONS projections which are “policy neutral”, i.e. reflect projections based on our current membership of the European Union and all that that implies.

    After Brexit, assuming it happens, we have a right to determine our own immigration policy, which may differ sharply from current policy. My own wish is for zero net migration from all sources, for cultural reasons as much as economic reasons. The UK has enough people and so does the world. It would be rigidly enforced via a system of annual work permits, renewable annually. The number of new homes required would be sharply lower.

    I don’t expect everyone to agree with me. What is reasonable is the right for local authorities to review and revise structure plans in 5 years time, when a national consensus on the future level of immigration has emerged.

    I know that will require a change in the law, Mr Redwood. I expect you and your fellow MPs to make sure that it happens. No excuses.

  53. agricola
    Posted July 11, 2017 at 3:20 pm | Permalink

    Please explain what is so inaccurate about this contribution that you fear to publish it.
    Population of the UK as at January 2017 given as 65.8 Million, plus of course many illegals. I would guess that one of the problems in identifying some of the tower fire victims is that they were not known to be there or even in the country for that matter.

    • hefner
      Posted July 12, 2017 at 6:48 am | Permalink

      Really a strange comment: Have you ever been in and out of the UK and gone through the immigration checkpoints at Heathrow, Gatwick, Stansted, Harwich, Folkestone? This idea of millions of illegals in the UK is simply wrong. There certainly are “immigrants” but I would think 99% of these people went through a control and were considered to “be in order” and allowed to enter the country.
      Your type of OTT comments just reflects the tabloids’ views.

      • stred
        Posted July 12, 2017 at 4:19 pm | Permalink

        Illegals would include overstaying students, family visitors and tourists. Also, arrivals who destroy passports and claim asylum and the hundreds who arrive in lorries and small boats. The estimates at ports depend upon interviews which are unlikely to be answered truthfully and allow changes of mind. NI card figures issued are almost twice the official figure.

        The government would be accused of intimidation and racism by the human rights industry if they insisted councils checked the names of tenants against occupants.

  54. Martin
    Posted July 11, 2017 at 6:26 pm | Permalink

    Given your views on Brexit and the inevitable changes in trade and industry I am surprised you are not advocating a complete scrapping on the Nimby planning laws. The last thing we need is any business taking advantage of new trade pattern and changes to be blocked by planning laws.

    We have Mrs May as PM for a year now and what has happened to the third Heathrow runway? Appears to be a strong and stable zero!

  • About John Redwood


    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, He graduated from Magdalen College Oxford, has a DPhil and is a fellow of All Souls College. A businessman by background, he has been a director of NM Rothschild merchant bank and chairman of a quoted industrial PLC.

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