02 Mar 22 by Stephen Maycock
Lack of supply of development land is increasing its value and restricting the supply of much needed new homes in the Southwest. To unlock development potential, we see three ways of improving supply.
Firstly, reduce planning bureaucracy. Every increasing policy demands makes achieving consent more tortuous and expensive, and development viability more challenging. The burdens placed on development, which for the most part is warranted, is not always appreciated by landowners whose price aspirations do not allow room for policy compliance and a viable development resulting in difficult and time consuming planning negotiations, refusals and appeals. The governments stalled system review sought to address this issue appears to have been shelved.
Secondly, provide more planning officers. Current staffing levels in planning authorities is not capable of dealing with the task in hand, let alone the increased bureaucracy mentioned above.
Thirdly, provide more enablement works. Facilitating brownfield site clean-ups and urban expansion infrastructures through public intervention would de-risk the potential to a degree where SME’s, an underutilised developer resource, would get involved.
Development has always been long-term and complicated but never more so than today.