The chief executive of Barratt Developments has appealed to the government to overhaul the planning system and has produced an 18-point programme of reform to show how it could be done.
David Pretty outlined his plans on Monday in a statement in which he also called for more help for first-time buyers, more protection for the green belt and greater use of brownfield sites.
Housebuilders have widely criticised the planning system in the past and argued that it has prevented, and will prevent, the government from fulfilling its stated targets. But it is rare for a housebuilder to come out alone with such a loud and clear message for the government.
Pretty’s suggestions included a widening of the definition of “affordable” to enable housebuilders to sell homes at substantial discounts to key workers and first-time buyers.
He also calls for the creation of special training schemes for councillors in local authority planning committees.
My 18 points don’t require a seismic shift
David Pretty, Barratt
Pretty, who as chief executive of Barratt heads the biggest UK volume housebuilder, hit out at planning appeals and proposed “the introduction of charges for planning appeals, with the losing party paying the successful party’s costs, thereby reducing ill-considered appeals and spurious objections.”
Pretty added: “My 18 points don’t require a seismic shift but will serve to refine the system in everyone’s interest.”
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