Home Secretary Amber Rudd backed the government’s plan to ‘fix’ the housing market saying it will make ‘a real difference’ to people in Hastings and Rye.
Ministers promised to ‘hold developers to account’, improve affordability and build more homes in the white paper unveiled on Tuesday (February 7).
Countryside campaigners warned the fresh proposals could jeopardise the county’s green spaces and argue the plans do not go far enough.
Hastings and Rye MP Ms Rudd said: “Here in Hastings and Rye I speak to residents who tell me that they cannot find alternative housing, either due to financial circumstances or a lack of supply.
“I believe that this white paper will help to alleviate this and I look forward to seeing it make a real difference to the lives of local people.”
Communities and local government secretary Sajid Javid said the current housing market is ‘broken’ andthat it is letting first-time buyers down with high house price-inflation.
The white paper aims to improve affordability, address the shortage of houses and improve the slow house building market.
The reforms include a standardised way of calculating housing demand by asking local authorities to produce an effective housing plan they will have to review every five years.
This would enable a positive balance between protecting the green belt and to help ensure that enough homes can be built where people want to live, ministers claim.
Planning permission currently allows developers up to three years before they have to commence building.
The white paper proposes to change that to two years in order to speed up house building and give local authorities the power to issue completion notices on developers who are not keeping to their timescales.
Under the £3bn home building fund, the government will provide loans to small and medium sized builders and developers in order to stimulate further new home builds before the end of this Parliament.
“We have seen almost 300,000 affordable home units built in England,” Mr Javid said in his speech in the House of Commons.
“We have seen housing starts increase sharply. And we have seen more people getting on the property ladder thanks to schemes such as Help to Buy.
“Now we need to go further, much further, and meet our obligation to build many more houses, of the type people want to live in, and the places they want to live.
“That’s exactly what this white paper will deliver.”
While the Campaign to Protect Rural England’s Sussex branch has welcomed some of the initiatives, such as those to protect ancient woodland and promote brownfield development, it has argued the white paper also creates new loopholes which speculative developers will be quick to exploit.
Kia Trainor, a director at CPRE Sussex, said: “We have concerns about whether the proposed measures to tackle land banking go far enough and we feel that the new measures to ‘hold local authorities to account through a new housing delivery test’ will just place additional burdens on local authorities.”
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