Friday, February 2, 2018

Community Led Housing

A brief post in order to give a little more publicity to the report at

The report is too long and rich in examples to summarise here.  There is a clear message that CLH is popular with users, councils and housing providers but that the efforts being made to produce a few thousand units are disproportional to the gains.  The main stimuli seem to be financial assistance to enable CLH to be provided on difficult sites not attractive to the volume builders.  The potential seems to be greatest where the market cuts these innovative forms of housing some slack but there are some councils in high property price areas (notably Bristol and Brighton) which seem to be managing to promote CLH. Although CLH does come in a range of sorts and sizes it does not yet acknowledge the potential for custom splitting that would benefit from Local Development Orders in areas where the LPA feels subdivisions would help provide opportunities to downsize-in-place by encouraging new households to share in the splitting of existing properties.
However, the main message from the report is that Councils should make it easier for CLH to be realised. It seems perverse that the best forms of housing from economic and social points of view are the hardest to achieve and 150,000 houses of a more individualistic nature slip effortlessly (there are of course some flawed housing schemes that are rejected locally and on appeal) through the system.  A rational planning system would privilege CLH by ensuring all permissions reserve land for that purpose and can only be built out by conventional developers if there is no demand for CLH. 

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