National Association of Local Councils (NALC) believes Sir Michael Lyons report on boosting housing supply was reasonably even-handed and at times pragmatic and proportionate to the house building crisis that the country faces at the moment.
But NALC believes that the report misses out on the role that communities and local (parish and town) councils could play to meet the housing needs of the country.
NALC’s key points are:
Parish and town councils should not have to produce a business plan as to what they will do with Community Infrastructure Levy receipts – hardly any monies were passed on to parishes by planning authorities anyway in 13-14 to warrant such an extra step which would waste council time
There needs to be far more mentions of parishes across the whole report. We are disappointed that he does not think that parishes have a role to play in housing (even though they are not planning authorities) – at a time when they have a huge role to play in neighbourhood planning and the community right to build terms at the local level, and otherwise deserve a more prominent housing role, having received a derisory amount of New Homes Bonus funding over the last couple of years
Cllr Ken Browse, chairman of NALC said: “We welcome that Sir Michael Lyons’ review places the need to solve the housing supply crisis on top of its agenda. We agree that the nation needs more homes, and we will look carefully at proposals for housing growth areas and garden cities and suburbs. It is critical that we choose the right places to put new housing, and involve communities and all types of local councils through the local planning process to get genuinely sustainable development. We hope that Labour focuses on Sir Michael’s proposals to support the plan-led system rather than policies to take planning powers away from local councils but puts more emphasis on the role that communities and parishes can play within this.”