Councils across England have radically reduced their housing targets. This has contributed to a situation where the Coalition could end up presiding over the lowest level of housebuilding.
New research from Policy Exchange shows that councils are planning to build 272,720 fewer new homes since the abolition of regional planning. The figures, produced by planning consultancy Tetlow King, show that since the revocation of Regional Spatial Strategies in 2010, local authorities have used their beefed up planning powers to reduce housing targets. The largest reductions are in the South East (-57,049) and South West (-108,380), areas with the greatest housing shortage.
The report says lowering housing targets will eventually lead to fewer homes being built. Although the targets are seldom hit, they govern the release of land for housing, meaning less land will be made available. Without significant changes to the planning system, housing numbers will continue to fall over time.