Regions cast doubt on housing report

Regional authorities have spoken out against a government-sponsored report suggesting further increases in housebuilding.

The National Housing and Planning Advice Unit (NHPAU) said last week that housing numbers in England should rise by more than a quarter of a million above the 3 million target by 2020.

But the East of England Regional Assembly has serious concerns about deliverability.

Head of planning and housing Adrian Cannard told PlanningResource: "We'd have to deliver 38,000 homes per annum, while the East of England plan already suggests 27,000. We feel that's the most that can be achieved."

South East England Regional Assembly chairman Keith Mitchell said: "Against a housing stock of 3.5 million homes in the South East, adding a few thousand more every year will have almost no impact on house prices. The affordability crisis needs a range of solutions."

He added that the unit's figures ignore the costs of services and infrastructure for new homes and "cut across the democratic process of agreeing regional housing figures".

But NHPAU chief executive Kevin Williamson insisted that there is "no doubt" that boosting housing numbers will impact on affordability.

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