By: 1 August 2016
Housing marker is dysfunctional, says Shulmans lawyer

The UK’s housing market is dysfunctional due to a lack of affordable housing, according to Amanda Beresford, a nationally-recognised planning expert at Shulmans.

Beresford, partner and head of planning at the firm, was speaking after it was revealed last month that four million people are in need of affordable housing, even if the UK hits full employment.

“There is no doubt that our housing market is dysfunctional,” she said.

“Lack of affordable housing is a big part of the problem. Recent measures, such as the reduction in the stamp duty threshold and the introduction of starter homes may be part of the solution. So may more council house building as called for by the Local Government Association.

“However, none of this will work unless more planning permissions for housing are granted. Too many applications get stuck in the planning system often because of the political issues associated with concerns about building ‘in my backyard ‘or in the green belt.

Beresford said that decision makers – and those who voted for them – needed to focus more on the socio-economic benefits of granting planning permission for more housing.

“This includes not just the provision of more homes but also the jobs, opportunity to develop skills and other community benefits which a housing development can offer,” she said.