Housebuilders 'must use landbanks to ease housing crisis'

A call for housebuilders to 'use their growing landbanks' to help solve the housing crisis features in today's newspaper round-up.

In a letter to the Times (subscription required), Sean Spiers, chief executive of countryside lobby group the Campaigh to Protect Rural England (CPRE), defends the charity against comments made by John Stewart, director of economic affairs at the Home Builders Federation, that CPRE promotes "the myth that our housing supply crisis can be solved on brownfield land". Spiers says that CPRE has never suggested this, but adds that the charity does believe there is enough brownfield land for half a million homes. He adds: "If [the HBF] really wants to help solve the housing crisis, it should urge [housebuilders] to increase output on the many sites for which they hold planning permission - and use their growing landbanks".

The Times (subscription requied) also reports that Heathrow has been accused of trying to "rewrite the rule book" on a third runway at the airport "after suggesting that it might fight a proposed ban on night flights", it it gets the go-ahead to expand. The newspaper says that John Holland-Kaye, Heathrow’s chief executive, "gave his strongest indication yet that it would challenge a curfew, claiming that the move would 'constrain' the airport’s links with the rest of the UK."

The Guardian reports that Labour mayoral candidate, Sadiq Khan, "has pledged to put London on course to be run entirely on clean energy by 2050 if he is elected next May, amid criticism that the capital is falling behind its emissions targets."

Writing in the Guardian, cyclist Chris Boardman calls on the government to provide more funding to encourage a "cycling revolution". He says: "The investment needed is modest – starting at £10 per person per year, that’s 0.3 per cent of total infrastructure spend annually under the coalition government. It’s 0.5 per cent of the annual NHS budget, or around 1 per cent of the annual cost of inactivity, and 0.1 per cent of what we paid to bail out the banks. In short, it is a relatively tiny amount to make our towns and cities cleaner and less polluted with a healthier, happier and more prosperous population."

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