An urgent appeal by Horsham District Council to reduce our housing target in light of the COVID-19 outbreak has just been refused once again. We continue to hurtle towards a deadline in November, when we have to approve enough new giant estates to meet a likely target of 1400 new houses every single year.
Crisis – what crisis?
Almost no one thinks this is credible – from any party. Yet Robert Jenrick MP, Secretary of State for Housing, has ignored all pleas to think again from his fellow Conservatives in local government. They’re acting as if the COVID-19 crisis didn’t exist.
Serious long-term effects
Even before the crisis our local market couldn’t cope with so many new houses all at once. Developers will react by building as slowly as possible, waiting for prices to reach the level they need to cover the inflated price they paid for the land. We’re locking in high house prices for a generation.
This won’t solve our broken housing market
Yes, we need more affordable houses. But the government’s developer-led planning process leaves local councils with little ability to decide what actually gets built. The government’s only response has been to water down the definition of ‘affordable’ until it’s meaningless.
Our national housing market has been broken for a long time. But building the wrong houses in the wrong places can only make it worse.
What can you do?
Write to our local MP, Jeremy Quin, at email@example.com.
Write to Robert Jenrick MP, Secretary of State for Housing, at firstname.lastname@example.org.