Planning reforms won’t solve housing crisis, landlords tell Gove

The Government’s proposed planning reforms won’t help build the promised one million new homes in England, landlords have told a new survey.

Earlier this summer, Housing Secretary Michael Gove (main picture) announced a review of permitted development rights, setting out plans to make it easier to convert large shops and offices into homes. 

However, Mortgages for Business’s poll of several hundred buy-to-let landlords found only 7% believed the reforms would be successful, while 59% thought the results were “unlikely to scratch the surface”.

Another 19% thought the reforms could make the housing shortage worse, by focusing attention on building homes in cities.

“Britain needs more homes to fulfil more dreams of home ownership and increase choice for renters,” says MD Gavin Richardson (pictured, below).

“It’s great that these proposals mean that fewer empty shops or offices are left gathering dust while we have an urgent need for more homes. But on their own, a review of the rules around permitted development rights is not going to achieve very much.”


Gove also promised to create city development corporations with the power to buy up brownfield land and sell it on to housing developers. However, when asked if the country could tackle the housing crisis by building on brownfield sites alone, only 24% of landlords agreed.  

landlords gavin richardson

“Building in Birmingham, Manchester and Liverpool is not going to solve the housing shortage in the South East. To do that, we are going to have to build on London’s green belt. Until we accept the need for a ‘green and brown belt’ around London, the South East will continue to be short of homes, which will, of course, support the business plans of thousands of landlords,” adds Richardson.

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