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Javid to introduce standardised calculation for housing demand

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Councils will be forced to use a standard method to calculate local housing demand and then devise plans to deliver this, the government’s housing white paper will say.

Community secretary Sajid Javid is due to launch the white paper later today.

He will consult on a standardised way of calculating demand, with every council area required to produce a “realistic plan” that would be reviewed every five years, in a bid to deal with the 40% of councils that Mr Javid said lacked an up to date plan that meets the projected growth.

In a shift of policy, Mr Javid will tell councils and developers that land should be used more efficiently by avoiding low density developments, building higher in areas with a shortage of land and developing near locations well served by public transport.

Councils will gain new powers to speed up housebuilding, requiring developers to start building within two years, not three, of planning permission being granted. Builders will also be required to be more transparent on their delivery rates.

There will also be measures to help smaller firms enter a market in which 10 companies at present build 60% of new homes.

Mr Javid will say: “The housing market in this country is broken and the solution means building many more houses in the places that people want to live.

“Today we are setting out ambitious proposals to help fix the housing market so that more ordinary working people from across the country can have the security of a decent place to live. The only way to halt the decline in affordability and help more people onto the housing ladder is to build more homes. Let’s get Britain building.”

Other measures due in the white paper include a change from former prime minister David Cameron government’s focus on starter homes to a wider range of affordable housing.

Councils will gain powers form changed planning rules to plan for more homes built for private renting and a consultation will be launched on how developers could offer more affordable rented homes.

Mr Javid will say that despite the drive to build more homes green belt protections will remain.

Councils may alter these boundaries only in exceptional cases and after consulting residents and submitting a revised local plan for examination by the Planning Inspectorate.

There also will be a presumption in favour of housing on suitable brownfield land, and measures to increase density in high demand areas and to encourage housebuilding on abandoned town centre sites.

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