Should Mayors decide whether to build on green belt land?
IPPR North, the Institute for Public Policy Research think tank for the North of England, has suggested that mayors should be granted the power to decide if new homes should be built on green belt land. The think tank says that the powers of the ‘metro mayors’ to be elected in Manchester, Liverpool and the West Midlands should include the power to decide where new homes can and should be built.
The report suggests that there is not enough brownfield land available for development to meet the government’s house-building target of providing a million homes by 2020.
The report highlights that housing problems in London are unlikely to be the same as those in Liverpool and problems surrounding housing are best tackled locally. It claims that mayors are best placed to address the housing issues in their areas particularly given the ‘Northern Powerhouse’ and ‘Midlands Engine’ will be driven by mayors.
The think tank argues that mayors should be handed control over the green belt, the ability to place a levy on empty homes and stamp duty proceeds from new build homes in order to encourage building in their areas. It was suggested mayors should also set out to government how they intend to meet house-building targets and potential ways to speed up the planning system.
A White paper is to be published this month which outlines plans for ministers to offer help to companies that could contribute to a new generation of pre-fabricated homes to bridge the gap in the housing shortage.
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