Monday, 20 November 2017

Town and Country Planning

Congratulations to St Ives Town Council on having successfully blocked yet another development for the expensive second homes that have already taken up one quarter of residential properties there.

The whole country needs a statutory requirement of planning permission for change of use if it is proposed to turn a primary dwelling into a secondary dwelling, a working family home into a weekend or holiday home.

Just as the whole country needs the requirement that 50 per cent of housing on all new projects must be dedicated to affordable housing, redefined as 50 per cent of average rents, not the 80 per cent that is currently the case. Just as the whole country needs rent controls. Just as the whole country needs the Land Value Tax.

Just as the whole country needs at least 100,000 affordable new homes per year for the next 10 years, including council housing, with an end to the Right to Buy, which even its defenders must now accept was a thing if its time. And just as the whole country needs action against the buying up of property by foreign investors who then leave it empty.

Yes, that last problem mostly presents itself in London. The problem in St Ives mostly presents itself in places like St Ives. But in both cases, the whole country needs the solution.

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