Press release: Planning system vital to unlock housing delivery, Government told

17 January 2024

The Town and Country Planning Association (TCPA) sets out a roadmap for tackling England’s housing crisis in a new report published today.

Our shared future: A TCPA White Paper for Homes and Communities details the practical measures  that are needed to deliver sustainable, affordable, and net zero communities. The report reveals how more comprehensive, strategic, and democratic planning is the solution to the nation’s urgent housing and climate challenges.

The report makes clear that the government has a pivotal role to play in unlocking housing delivery. It finds that a collapse in the nation’s investment in socially rented homes and a failure to focus on effective housing delivery mechanisms are fuelling the crisis. It calls for expanded investment in social rented homes and the creation of a national spatial plan as preconditions of success.

The report advocates a programme of new and expanded communities both at a national strategic level in the form of new towns, and the enabling of local strategic growth. Above all, it argues for a fundamental policy shift to focus on more democratic and strategic delivery by giving more power to the public sector and the communities they serve to shape their local areas.

The TCPA’s vision for new homes is underpinned by the Garden City Principles – a framework for delivery offering the hope of complete communities which enable healthy lifestyles in thriving and resilient places. These are places defined by high-quality, net zero and accessible homes, set within a fabric of community services and green spaces in walkable neighbourhoods.

With 125 years of experience from Garden Cities to New Towns, and Eco Towns to garden communities, the TCPA is clear that highly sustainable, affordable, and net zero communities are technically straightforward to build and finance, if only there is the political will to challenge our current failing housebuilding model.

Fiona Howie, Chief Executive, TCPA – “As the Government has repeatedly stated, our current housing development model is badly broken. Yet our report reveals that we have all the technical solutions to the housing crisis at our disposal.  What we need is the political will to deliver the sustainable, affordable, and net zero communities that are so desperately needed.”

Katy Lock, Director (Communities), TCPA – “We are facing a chronic shortage of decent and affordable housing. At the same time, much of the new housing being delivered is located in places at odds with our sustainability goals. Our Shared Future seeks to offer hope that a positive future for the nation is possible, while providing the practical solutions to make it a reality. The TCPA’s Garden City Principles provide an ambitious yet achievable framework for meeting our housing and growth needs within environmental limits.”

Our shared future (full report)

Our shared future (exec summary)

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