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We are a cross-party, member-led network, providing a single voice for our member councils

Let’s work together to get homes built

Published: 9 July 2024

The District Councils’ Network has welcomed the Chancellor’s commitment to kickstart growth and take action to remove barriers to housebuilding.

Cllr Sam Chapman-Allen, Chairman of the District Councils’ Network, said:

“People are all too often unable to live in their home town or village due to a shortage of housing. We agree with the Government that we need a big shift to ensure more much-needed development takes place.

“District councils control crucial levers over housing, planning, economic development and regeneration. We stand ready to work in close partnership with the Government to unblock the barriers to development so everyone has a permanent, safe, good-quality house they can call home, allowing them to put down roots in their community.

“District councils are pro-development. We delivered almost 90,000 homes in 2022-23 and 400,000 homes over the past five years. We approve 86% of planning applications we receive.

“As planning authorities, all too often we find ourselves frustrated by protracted conversations over viability, with local decisions being overturned at appeal. The most beneficial reform would be for the Government to give councils new levers to unlock stalled sites and to ensure that developers build out the many homes that already have planning permission much more quickly.

“We look forward to working with ministers to ensure local expertise is harnessed so new developments are well situated in places that work for local people.

“It will be vital to make sure that new homes are supported by the right infrastructure. DCN welcomes the consultation on updating national policy for infrastructure planning and the opportunity to feed in our views about blockages in the planning system.

“DCN supports a brownfield-first approach to development. We await further details on how ‘grey belt’ land is defined and designated. We are keen that any designation of ‘green belt’ to ‘grey belt’ is made at a local level so that we can free up land without compromising the countryside, green spaces and biodiversity that are most cherished by our communities.

“We welcome the Chancellor’s indication that affordable housing will be prioritised. Many district councils are clamouring to build more affordable housing to meet the needs of their local communities and to tackle the root causes of homelessness. We are eager to work with the Government to pursue tangible policy changes that will empower councils to invest in new social housing.

“District councils across England look forward to the Government supporting councils to get homes built. It is by combining the national government’s commitment to develop with local councils’ unique knowledge of our local places that we can ensure the right development improves lives in our communities.”


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