29th Sep 2020

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government is currently conducting a consultation called ‘Changes to the current system.’ This consultation (not to be confused with the more extensive ‘Planning White Paper’) sets out proposed changes to the current planning system intended to come into effect long before the more fundamental changes proposed in the Planning White Paper are introduced. The closing date for responses is 1st October 2020

The National CLT (Community Land Trusts) Network has submitted its response to the consultation and Durham Community Action will be responding via our partner, ACRE (Action with Communities in Rural England). 

The most damaging aspect you might like to comment on is the proposal to lift the small sites threshold, below which developers do not need to contribute to affordable housing. As we all know, CLTs tend to develop on small sites and on those sites will develop affordable homes for local people. Removing the requirement to provide on-site affordable housing will increase the land price and make it considerably harder for CLTs to compete with developers building homes for sale.It will also affect the S106 affordable housing some CLTs deliver as part of larger private developments. Furthermore, while the Ministry has proposed this temporary measure to help small and medium sized builders, the proposal could actually make it harder for SMEs to operate during this time as it is often affordable housing that support cash-flow and keep local builders in business during economic downturns.

For those groups who have been writing to their area MPs as part of our campaign to renew the Community Housing Fund (info here), you can also mention your opposition to this specific proposal in your letters.

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