Milliband to Propose Major House Building Push

Ed Miliband is to set up a new commission to be chaired by Sir Michael Lyons to examine measures to boost housebuilding to 200,000 homes per year.

The Labour leader is expected to outline plans to reform the UK’s housing market and say that if elected in 2015 a Labour government would ensure 200,000 homes are built each year by 2020.

It is not clear to what extent the housebuilding push will be boosted by additional public spending.

Speaking on the BBC’s Radio 4 Today programme this morning, Labour’s deputy leader Harriet Harman confirmed Miliband would announce he has asked Sir Michael Lyons, a local government finance expert and former BBC Trust chairman, to lead a review designed to ensure that an incoming Labour government would be able to swiftly draw up housing reform legislation.

The Lyons housing commission is expected to examine:

  • how to strengthen and expand the use of compulsory purchase orders to enable local authorities to more easily buy, assemble and grant planning permission on land
  • how to give councils powers to levy fees on developers that do not develop land with planning permission – as outlined by the Labour leader in June when he said Labour would give councils “use-it-or-lose-it” powers to penalise firms which do not proceed with construction.
  • how to give councils a new ‘right-to-grow’ status that will enable councils to demand neighbouring authorities co-operate to drop opposition to new homes
  • set out detailed plans to establish New Towns and Garden Cities

Speaking to ITV’s Daybreak, Harman said: “Everybody knows that house prices have gone through the roof and therefore what you have to do is build more houses, you’ve got to increase the supply in order to meet the demand for house prices.

“We’ve set up a commission under Sir Michael Lyons to look at how you allow those councils that want to allow for extra development in their area to be able to get on and build those homes.

“After the war we were able to build loads of homes. It’s not only providing home for people but it would be a good stimulus for the economy because it will help the construction industry, which has really been struggling, it’ll help the construction industry get up off its knees.”

By Building.co.uk

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