Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 20 December 2014

Support for new homes 'increasing'

Brandon Lewis said support for housebuilding is increasing dramatically
Brandon Lewis said support for housebuilding is increasing dramatically

Government planning reforms have helped increase support for new homes, it has been claimed.

Newly appointed planning minister Brandon Lewis said there is "a changing mind-set" when it comes to major housing schemes.

Writing for the Telegraph online Mr Lewis hinted that the "Not In My Backyard" (NIMBY) attitude has changed, with support for housebuilding increasing "dramatically".

Referring to a survey of British Social Attitudes, published yesterday, the minister said support for new homes has risen from 28% in 2010 when reforms where introduced by the coalition Government, to 47% by last year.

The percentage of those opposing new homes has decreased by 15% over the same period, the survey showed.

Mr Lewis credited the reforms with giving local people control over their local areas.

" This changing mind-set can now be seen in the pipeline of projects coming through the reformed planning system," he wrote.

"Last year successful applications for major housing schemes were up 23%, and planning permissions were granted for 216,000 new homes.

"The new planning system puts local people in control, so if they want to build more homes, they will."

Mr Lewis said the Government had inherited a housing market "in disarray", and said it was "fraudulent" to suggest Whitehall can control housebuilding.

The minister added that more needs to be done, as significantly fewer homes are being built here than in other European countries, but said things are "moving in the right direction".

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