The Lancashire Branch of the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE Lancashire) broadly welcomes the new Housing White Paper, in particular its focus on addressing market failure in the house building industry.
Nick Thompson, chairman of CPRE Lancashire said:
“We are pleased to see that at last the government appears to be trying to get to grips with the problems of the housing market. We know of so many people that can’t afford to buy the sort of property that now is being built in some lovely parts of the Lancashire countryside. What we are campaigning for is property for both buying and for renting that people can realistically afford in order to allow them to stay in the towns and villages in which they were born and raised.
"If the focus is on genuine need, achievable targets and good quality design that enhance the local environment, we can build the homes that the country needs without losing more of our precious countryside."
The White Paper promises a further consultation on how local authorities should calculate housing need. For those concerned about our countryside, the outcome of this consultation is significant.
Until local authorities are able to set realistic and deliverable housing targets, with an emphasis on meeting genuine need rather than aspirational demand, the countryside and Green Belt will continue to be threatened by poor quality and speculative development.
Nick Thompson concluded:
"The Government has made a good start in this Housing White Paper, but the devil will be in the detail of how housing numbers are to be calculated by authorities. CPRE Lancashire agrees that it is vital that we build enough homes but housing targets must be more reasonable, deliverable and achieve more affordable homes especially in our rural areas."
CPRE Lancashire has discussed the potential impact of the Government's Housing White Paper with Paul Faulkner, Political Correspondent for That’s Lancashire. This interview can now be viewed online.