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Oblix warns manifesto housing targets should be taken with ‘pinch of salt’

  • 28/11/2019
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Oblix warns manifesto housing targets should be taken with ‘pinch of salt’
The three main political parties have pledged change for the construction and housing sectors, says Oblix Capital, but based on past performance their promises should be taken with a “pinch of salt”.


The Conservative manifesto includes a target of 300,000 homes a year by the mid-2020s to achieve at least a million new homes of all tenures over the course of the parliament.

Labour plans to build 100,000 council houses a year by 2024, concentrating on brownfield sites and unused publicly owned land. This will be funded by a £150bn social transformation fund which would be borrowed over the five-year period. It also pledges that housing associations would deliver an additional 50,000 affordable homes each year.

The Liberal Democrats have pledged to build 300,000 new homes each year to tackle the housing crisis. Of these, 100,000 would be new social homes built to net-zero housing standards.

Richard Payne (pictured), director of development at specialist property lender Oblix, said: “Unfortunately, based on past performance, all of the house building targets pledged by the main political parties need to be taken with a large pinch of salt.

“Regardless of who forms the next government, a significant and sustained new build program is required to address the imbalance between supply and demand in the housing sector.”


PDR concerns remain

Payne said Oblix shared the concerns raised by the parties about the size, quality and appropriateness of homes that have been converted from offices using the permitted development rights (PDR).

Last month, housing secretary Robert Jenrick said the Conservatives may tighten up PDR using a process called ‘permission in principle’. This would give planning authorities more power to influence the design of new buildings.

Jenrick said that PDR has created between 30,000 and 50,000 new homes but admitted that some of these developments had been ‘poor quality’.

Labour and the Liberal Democrats have both stated in their manifestos they would end permitted development rights

Payne said: “Permitted development has created a significant number of additional dwellings since it was introduced, but we share the concerns about the size, quality and appropriateness of some of those units.

“We believe that permitted development should continue, but support any changes that drive improvements to the quality of that housing stock. We hope that the next government can deliver greater quality housing without hampering growth.”


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