Brighton and Hove Council aims to scrap Right to Buy

Reports that housing bosses in Brighton plan to become the first in England to scrap the policy that allows council tenants to buy their own homes feature in today's newspaper round-up.

The Daily Telegraph reports that "Brighton and Hove council will ask the government for permission to end Right to Buy because it puts publicly owned homes into the hands of private landlords". "Members voted through a Green motion to apply for the exemption, which would be the first of its kind granted to a local authority," according to the newspaper.

The Daily Telegraph also reports that "house prices in some parts of Britain dropped by more than £30,000 between November and December". The newspaper cites Rightmove figures showing that the average price of a property coming to market in England and Wales "fell by £8,703 – or 3.3 per cent – to £258,424 in the four weeks to 7 December", adding that "while experts said it was normal for prices to fall during the quieter winter months, the decline could also reflect price reductions by wealthy vendors after the chancellor introduced new stamp duty rates in the Autumn Statement".

The Independent reports that Peterborough has been "named and shamed today as the worst place in Britain to be without a car", coming at the bottom of the Campaign for Better Transport’s 2014 Car Dependency Scorecard, "which examines provision for pedestrians, cyclists and public-transport users in 29 towns and cities". "The best three are big cities London, Manchester and Liverpool. But in a damning verdict on 20th-century town planners, the worst are two communities which expanded quickly during the 1960s and 1970s [Peterborough and Colchester], plus Milton Keynes."

The Times (subscription required) reports on the South-to-North Water Diversion Project in China, a "scheme involving canals, pipelines and aqueducts" that has begun transporting water 870 miles to Beijing. The project "has taken 11 years to complete, cost tens of billions of dollars and displaced hundreds of thousands of people from homes and farms along its route".

The Daily Telegraph runs an article arguing that the government’s housebuilding plans "ought to be inspired by the harmonious style of the great Victorian urbanisation". "Once again we are faced with the question how to build," writes Roger Scruton. "We need a procedure that will reconcile our population to new start-up homes in places where there might have been no development. And we should learn from experience."

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