Councils which fail on new homes will lose powers

Councils which fail to build enough homes will lose the right to decide where new houses are placed in their area under new Government plans.

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.

They will take 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.

MIDDLEWICH, ENGLAND - MAY 20: Construction workers build new houses on a housing development on May 20, 2014 in Middlewich, England. Official figures have shown that house prices have risen by 8% in the year ending in March. There have been calls by some experts for the UK Help to Buy scheme to scaled down as it boosts the property market. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

Video: Chancellor promises 300,000 more homes a year

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

Prime Minister Theresa May, who will launch the plans on Monday, has made housing a key domestic priority.

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.”

Britain's Communities and Local Government Secretary Sajid Javid

Image: Sajid Javid says he will be ‘breathing down’ the necks of councils to ensure targets are met

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.

Homeless Figures In London Double In Past Six Years According To Charities

Video: Record number of people sleeping rough

John Healey MP, Labour’s shadow secretary of state for housing, said Britain’s housing crisis was the “fault of Whitehall, not town halls”.

More from Housing

“Since 2010, home-ownership has fallen to a 30-year low, rough sleeping has more than doubled, and the number of new homes being built still hasn’t recovered to pre-recession levels,” he said.

“In the week he’s surrendered £800m of unspent housing funds to the Treasury, more buck-passing from Sajid Javid isn’t going to cut it. It’s time the Tories changed course, and backed Labour’s long-term plan to build the homes the country needs.”

Share this content!