George Osborne mulls Labour idea to boost housing delivery

Planning Houses

Chancellor George Osborne is considering a ‘use it or lose it’ policy which could force housebuilders to sell off land if they don’t build homes fast enough.

The chancellor is considering using a version of a Labour idea put forward by Ed Miliband in 2013 to speed up the delivery of new homes, according to Property Week.

The Labour idea proposes fines for firms that fail to build on land with planning permission.

Councils would also get tougher compulsory purchase orders to deal with housebuilders who, after being fined, still haven’t started construction.

But planning experts are calling on Osborne to reject the proposals and instead look at other measures to improve housing delivery.

Charles Mill, head of planning at property consultant Daniel Whitley LLP, said: “The government is right to try and speed up the delivery of new homes, but interfering with the land market isn’t the answer.

“Rather than penalising volume house builders, the government should be looking to diversify sources of housing supply, giving greater support to SMEs and also specialist build-to-rent developers, who can bring homes to the market far quicker than traditional for sale house builders.”