Press release: TCPA responds to government's £9m fund for vertical housing extensions

30-01-19  The TCPA is concerned about the hidden impacts of the government’s funding for new homes to be built above existing properties.

The proposals intend to make use of the airspace above properties to install homes built off-site via expanded permitted development rights. Without going through a planning application, no contributions are required to affordable housing, schools and open spaces. Considering that large sums of public finance are being used to deliver these proposals, it is odd that the homes would not be required to contribute at all to help support underfunded local services.

 Henry Smith, Projects and Policy Manager at the TCPA, said:

“Good place making is about creating mixed communities where people can thrive. Our evidence shows that permitted development is simply a give away to the private sector because it delivers none of the infrastructure needed to support new development, despite putting more pressure on local services such as schools and hospitals.

“We must encourage off-site construction as part of the solution to the housing crisis, but rather through an holistic and sustainable approach to creating great places, not as part of this loophole. It is also vital that off-site homes are built to robust design and space standards, which are sorely missing from the examples of very poor quality homes that we have seen in permitted development from former offices.”

Notes to editors

1. This statement was issued in response to a 30 January 2019 announcement from Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) stating that the government will invest £9m in private developer Apex AirSpace to deliver pre-fabricated housing in London.

2. Publications and resources related to the TCPA’s work on permitted development: Planning 2020, the final report of the Raynsford Review of Planning (2018); Planning for Affordable Housing (2018); and Room to Breathe: the campaign for basic national housing standards (2019).

3. The Town and Country Planning Association (TCPA) is an independent campaigning charity calling for more integrated planning based on the principles of accessibility, sustainability, diversity and community cohesion. For more information on the TCPA, click here.

4. For further information, please contact Jack Mulligan at the TCPA on 02079308903 or jack.[email protected].

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