Labour housing review 'to sweep aside planning rules'

Reports that the Labour Party's Lyons review of housing will be published tomorrow and will include plans for 'restrictive planning rules' to be 'swept aside' feature in today's newspaper round-up.

The Times (subscription required) reports that the review, carried out by Sir Michael Lyons, will call for "billions of pounds" to be earmarked "to help to build 200,000 homes a year under a Labour government". The newspaper says that, under Lyons’ proposals, "restrictive planning rules would be swept aside and there would be greater incentives for the private sector to develop and build housing".

Times columnist, Alice Thomson says, UKIP’s heritage spokesman, "Tory grandee" William Cash, calls new housing developments "rural Ebola" and has attacked the "green blob" of establishment environmentalists. Thomson adds that "rural donors, worried about new housing estates crowding their Georgian piles, have given generously to [the UKIP] campaign".

The Times (subscription required) also reports that "immigration is helping to fuel a housing crisis in the capital and causing Londoners to leave, according to a report". The newspaper says that think-tank MigrationWatch UK "estimates that 50,000 homes will have to be built in the capital over the next 15 years as the immigrant population is expected to increase by a million". "Its report says that mass immigration is driving population growth in the capital, resulting in huge pressures on housing supply and ‘displacing’ people from London," the newspaper adds.

The Guardian reports that house prices in London "are surging at a rate of almost 20 per cent a year, which is five times the increase seen in north-east England", according to Office for National Statistics data.

In a letter to the Guardian, the organisers of the MIPIM property conference respond to hostile article by Guardian columnist Aditya Chakrabortty who said the event was "a jaunt so lavish as to be almost comic – where big money developers invite town hall executives for secret discussions aboard private yachts". In response, Reed Midem said: "MIPIM has brought together public- and private-sector experts and contributed to the urban renaissance across the UK. The revival of towns and cities ranging from London boroughs to Manchester, Birmingham, Liverpool and Leeds is admired around the world, and MIPIM is proud to have played a part."


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