300,000 new homes target to be ditched

Liz Truss’s appointment as Prime Minister means the Conservative manifesto pledge to build 300,000 homes a year is likely to be dead in the water.

On the campaign trail in July Truss said she would scrap “Whitehall-inspired Stalinist housing targets”.

Meanwhile she pledged to use tax cuts and deregulation to help housebuilders deliver homes, doing away with “Labour approaches”.

Rob Clifford, chief executive of Stonebridge, said: “In terms of overall housing supply, it looks likely that the 300k new homes by the mid-2020s manifesto commitment will either be ditched or sidelined.

“Liz Truss called these targets arbitrary and ‘Stalinistic’ however my view is that it is important to have such targets even if, in this case, they have been wildly optimistic.

“Tackling some of the local barriers to house building would undoubtedly help, specifically if they are mere NIMBY-ism, as long as the case can be made and the necessary logistics and local services are in place, then we should be approving larger-scale developments, especially those which prioritise starter and affordable homes.

“There has been some talk from the new PM about decoupling the Bank of England from its interest rate-setting role, however I hope this was mere ‘hustings talk’.

“Taking away the Bank of England’s independence in setting interest rates would I believe be a mistake.

“Handing this power to politicians at any time, but especially during this economic cycle, would in my opinion be a real retrograde step and would do far more damage than good with the potential for rates to be changed for purely political rather than economic reasons.

“I hope the new PM rethinks her views on this.”

Former housing secretary Michael Gove previously dropped the promise in May, saying: “It’s no kind of success simply to hit a target if the homes that are built are shoddy, in the wrong place, don’t have the infrastructure required, and are not contributing to beautiful communities.”

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