Response to the housing white paper

The real test is whether it challenges big developers

Response to the housing white paper

On proposals to diversify the developer market Localis chief executive Liam Booth-Smith said:

“The real test of the government’s housing white paper will be whether they can diversify and disrupt the developer market. Large house builders are close to capacity and, to be frank, appear content with the status quo. The commitment to encourage greater participation from small and medium sized builders, particularly by supporting their routes to capital, is a smart move by Sajid Javid. We should be in no doubt however, without radically changing the shape of the developer market, soft promises on political leadership and additional funds will be useless in helping government hit its housebuilding target.”

On proposals to introduce housing delivery tests Liam Booth-Smith said:

“It is fair that local leaders should be held to greater account when not enough homes are built in the places where they are needed. The government is right to recognise that housing markets look very different depending on where you are in the country, building lots of homes in Middlesbrough won’t do much to alleviate the pressures on London, Birmingham or Bristol. This is a point we made in our recent ‘Power behind the home’ released last November.”

On reforms to the local plan making process Liam Booth-Smith said:

“The slow pace of local plan making is a huge issue that repels investors and developers from an area. It is right that local authorities are encouraged to put out plans for consultation quicker, and that it will be easier to do so. Enabling combined authorities and city mayors to allocate strategic sites is also sensible. But for their part, government should stop holding up local plans because, for instance, they include green belt development.”


Press enquiries:

Jack Airey, Senior Researcher, Localis:

Notes to Editors:

  1. Localis is an independent think-tank dedicated to issues related to politics, public service reform and localism. Since our formation we have produced influential research on a variety of issues including housing, local government finance and health and social care. We carry out innovative research, hold a calendar of events and facilitate an ever growing network of members to stimulate and challenge the current orthodoxy of the governance of the UK.
  2. In November 2017 Localis published the report Power Behind the Home. It called for a more permissive national strategy that loosens the leash on planning and finance.
  3. In September 2017 Localis published the report Turning Generation Rent into Homeowners. It called for affordable rent to be determined locally and a comprehensive review of the green belt.