New planning referendum plan ‘will constrain housing supply’ says expert

HOUSING supply will be constrained by the Government’s plan to introduce local referendums on home improvements and encourage spurious objections to developments, a leading property expert has said.

Henry Davis, a developer and author of “The Truth About property”, told GB News: “I can see it’s well intentioned because we’ve all seen this house that’s built like an eyesore in our local communities, so I can see where they’re coming from.

“But the problem is that you’re going to open the floodgates to NIMBYs and as a property developer myself, I come up [against] people who object to just about anything.

“Even if I were to build the most amazing hospital and give everything away for free, I would have objectors.

“So ultimately I do worry that it will reduce supply in the market…

Mr Davis was speaking during an interview on Breakfast with Eamonn and Isabel on GB News.

He added: “We have a fundamental supply problem and the government, however well-intentioned this is, they should have focused on policies that will increase supply.

“And how do you increase supply? You have to have a complete game-changer, a complete mindset change and you have to embrace high rise, high density development, you have to stop land-banking by developers…

“The other thing you have to do is increase the tax on second homes and these are the second homes that are not being rented out that are being used in holiday destinations like Cornwall.”

Another property expert later told Tom Harwood that the Government’s plans are good news, as residents can get together and agree on a design code for their street and develop it more intensively than previously possible.

Nicholas Boys Smith, director of Create Streets, said home owners can create “beautiful gentle density” in their areas.

He told GB News: “Groups of residents in a street can put together a visual design code, which shows how their plots and how their street could be used a bit more intensively, depending on the situation.

“That might be turning garages in the back into granny flats, it might be adding a mansard storey.

“It might be in the extreme case, taking with consent a series of semi-detached houses and turning it perhaps into terraced houses.

“It would be subject to strict limits so you couldn’t be overshadowing neighbouring blocks.”

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