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‘Nimby’ councils face new sanctions for failing to meet home-building targets

‘Nimby’ councils which fail to build enough homes will be stripped of the right to decide where new houses are placed in their area under plans to be launched by Theresa May on Monday.

Housing Secretary Sajid Javid warned local authorities he would be “breathing down your neck every day and night” to ensure home-building targets are met.

An overhaul of planning laws will see the creation of new rules to give councils targets for how many homes they should build each year, taking into account local house prices, wages and the number of “key workers” like nurses, teachers and police officers in the area.

Higher targets will be set for areas with higher “unaffordability ratios”, Mr Javid told the Sunday Times.

If councils fail to deliver on the target they will be stripped of planning powers with independent inspectors taking over.

We are going to be breathing down your neck day and night to make sure you are actually delivering on those numbers

Sajid Javid to councils

The Prime Minister has made housing a key domestic priority as more young people struggle to get on the property ladder.

Mr Javid told the newspaper: “We have a housing crisis in this country.

“We need a housing revolution. The new rules will no longer allow nimby councils that don’t really want to build the homes that their local community needs to fudge the numbers.”

He told councils: “We are going to be breathing down your neck day and night to make sure you are actually delivering on those numbers.”

The Housing Secretary added: “At the moment there is nothing in the system that checks to see they are actually delivering.

“There’s no comeback or sanction and that is going to change.”

Mr Javid said homes would not be built on green belt but any area outside “naturally protected land” would be free for construction.

He also revealed plans to build new towns between Oxford and Cambridge.

“Along that corridor there’s an opportunity to build at least four or five garden towns and villages with thousands of homes,” he said.

And he said rules will be relaxed for homeowners who want to add storeys to their houses.

Mr Javid said “the density of London is less than half that of Paris. We don’t want London to end up like Hong Kong.”

But he called for more “mansion blocks, the kind you might see in Kensington and Chelsea”.

“It will be quite surprising how easy we want to make it for people who want to build upwards,” he said.


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Fury at FOURTH housing development for Nuneaton community

Building what would be the fourth new housing development in a Nuneaton community has caused fury among residents.

Weddington’s ability to cope with demand for new school places as well as the impact on the roads has once again been the biggest concern aired by readers following the news that Gladman want to build up to 775 homes on land off Weddington Road.

Telegraph readers took to social media in their droves to react to the news of the development, which would be the fourth new one in the area.

What readers had to say

The plans were described as “utter madness” by Weddington ward councillor Keith Kondakor and it was a sentiment shared by Andrea McDonnel l on Twitter, who said: ” Absolutely agree! How can the current infrastructure cope?! Children struggling for schools, waiting times for doctors and sitting in queues of traffic to get to and from work #madness.”

On Facebook, Nick Groot Smith said: “They need to sort the town access out before any more homes are built.”

Liam Dunn wrote: “Wanna build more houses, yet you can’t fill potholes properly!”

Kerry Orton posted: “Have we not reached the housing target for the next ten years already? Surely we can’t be far off! And any sign of an approved Borough Plan yet?”

While Dan Holdaway said: “How? There is no way to widen the roads in a heavily built residential area? The roads will not change.”

Christopher ‘Suggsey’ Smith posted: “Yet more well used footpaths and bridleways in the countryside to be swallowed up by another development on green belt land. Time for everyone to say no, enough is enough!”

The lay-out of the proposed new development in Weddington. (Image: Image courtesy of Gladman leaflet)

Gladman has said that, at the moment, the plans are in the very early stages and the leaflets sent out locally form part of their consultation before they officially submit the proposal to Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council .

What is known is that, at the moment, the latest round of inspection is taking place into Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council ‘s crucial Borough Plan, which maps out where houses can be built over the next 15 years.

Until the government inspector decides if the plan is ‘sound’ and fit for purpose, the council has little defence in the face of applications for housing developments.

Source: Coventry Telegraph