dclg

Jim Pickard

The row over changes to the planning system has been both angry and loud, polarising opinion in a stark manner. On the one hand we have George Osborne, the DCLG, business lobbying groups and the property industry, all of which back the new National Planning Policy Framework.

Lined up against them are charities including the CPRE, Friends of the Earth and National Trust, who fear that the document – with its presumption for sustainable development - could provide a carte blanche for a wave of ugly developments across the countryside. Read more

Jim Pickard

It turns out today that cuts to local government “spending power” will only be 4.4 per cent on average next year across Britain’s councils. So says Eric Pickles and his DCLG department. This sounds great compared to the figure floating around recently about a 10 per cent cut for the same period.

Except this is looking at apples and pears.  Read more

Jim Pickard

Bad news for the government – and terrible timing given the massive cuts to housing budgets in yesterday’s CSR. Figures released today reveal that the net number of homes added to the housing stock in England fell to a record low in 2009-10, down 23 per cent on 2008/9.

Just 128,680 net additional dwellings were provided compared with around 167,000 in the previous year. This figure is even lower than the previous record low of 130,510. Read more

Jim Pickard

The government figures on Right to Buy make fascinating reading. The number of deals has fallen to just 3,860 last year – a mere twentieth of the 84,100 figure only seven years ago. I’ve repeated the stats below.

It suggests that the issue may be a sideshow to the real priorities around social housing that the government needs to address in the coming months. The main one being that with the DCLG (communities department) facing cuts of around 30 per cent to its budget, social housing will inevitably be hit very hard. Read more