'Radical' green belt proposals could be included in Budget

Reports that the government is considering 'radical proposals to release public land in the green belt' feature in today's newspaper round-up.

The Daily Mail reports that "ministers and officials are examining radical proposals to release public land in the green belt to help ease the housing crisis". The newspaper says that "officials believe the scheme could be self-financing, as land can jump in value more than 100-fold if it is re-designated for housing." According to the newspaper, the scheme "is being considered for possible inclusion in next month's Budget and could be discussed at a housing summit due to be convened by [Prime Minister] Theresa May in Downing Street tomorrow."

The Times (subscription required) reports that Hammond is being urged to announce "bolder proposals" for increasing the supply of new homes. The chancellor "is being urged to supercharge ‘accelerated construction’" which "involves the state identifying public-sector land for building, awarding planning permission, selecting a development partner and then selling the homes on the market", the newspaper says. Hammond "was also said to be mulling over a move towards building on the green belt", the newspaper adds.

The Telegraph reports that the government "is launching a push to understand how peer-to-peer accommodation websites such as Airbnb affect local communities, which could pave the way for regulation of such ‘sharing economy’ websites." The newspaper says that the "Open Data Institute (ODI), an independent body set up by World Wide Web founder Sir Tim Berners-Lee, has been handed a £6 million grant to pursue projects that include studying the ­impact of property-sharing sites. It opens up the possibility that Airbnb, which has been accused of ­exacerbating housing shortages and disturbing neighbourhoods, could face new rules designed to limit its impact."

The Guardian reports that an east London council has withdrawn its opposition to a 683-home development that would deliver just four per cent affordable homes. The newspaper says that a planning application for the scheme was refused by the council and is now subject to an appeal. But it adds that "on Saturday it told the planning inspector it was withdrawing its opposition and would not resist Sainsbury’s appeal".

The Guardian also reports that "four of Rochdale’s Seven Sisters tower blocks are facing demolition, prompting opposition from hundreds of residents". The newspaper says that "Rochdale Boroughwide Housing (RBH), a charitable trust that runs all former council stock, said it planned to tear down four of the social housing blocks to make way for new townhouses and regenerate the town centre".

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