Housing white paper: reaction and analysis

EG analyses the announcements and gauges reaction from one of the biggest pieces of policy in housing history.

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Key policy changes from the housing white paper

  • New planning rules allowing councils to proactively plan for long-term build-to-rent homes
  • Promotion of longer-term tenancies in private rented schemes
  • Housebuilders forced to start construction in two years instead of three
  • A new housing delivery test, which will force local authorities to grant planning permissions if they fail to reach land release targets.
  • Local councils to be allowed to increase planning fees by 20%
  • Consultation launched on charging for planning appeal fees
  • Smaller sites to be promoted in local plans for SME housebuilders
  • Land registry use could be free, far more comprehensive and transparent
  • Starter home policy watered down
  • High density development expected where land is in low supply

Latest news and comment

LEGAL: White papering over the cracks

James Driscoll considers the leasehold and rented accommodation proposals in the government’s housing white paper, and finds them short on detail

Lenders can help solve housing crisis

Peter Cosmetatos: A diverse range of developers and investors is needed to help the UK housing sector

Reaction and analysis

Murray: White paper signals common thinking

London’s deputy mayor for housing, James Murray, believes the housing white paper represents the basis for further cooperation between the government and City Hall in solving the housing crisis

Housing white paper: clear direction, fuzzy on the detail

Mark Prisk offers his thoughts on the residential document and how this could affect the housing market

Does the housing white paper live up to its ‘radical’ promise?

EG’s Louisa Clarence-Smith explores whether the housing policy document delivers on Gavin Barwell’s promise. Read more…

LISTEN: Can the housing white paper fix the residential market?

EG’s policy reporter Louisa Clarence-Smith and residential correspondent Alex Peace have analysed the 104-page document so you don’t have to. Read more…

London Residential Research analyses the housing white paper

Nigel Evans, head of London Residential Research, and Paul Wellman, senior researcher, analyse the announcements from the housing white paper. Read more…

Barwell’s blog

Housing minister Gavin Barwell has outlined the government’s thinking behind the white paper in a personal blog. He chastises the public sector for not having made enough land available.

The state controls what you can build and where and in some parts of the country we are simply not releasing enough land to meet housing need.” 

He also says that the policies will take time to have an impact and that plans need to be put in place for those most needy in the meantime. This he claims the government will do the following in order to make an impact:

  • Continue to support people to buy their own home through Help to Buy and launching Starter Homes
  • Help households who are priced out of the market to afford a decent home that is right for them through our investment in the Affordable Homes Programme, which delivers homes for shared ownership, rent to buy and affordable homes for rent
  • Make renting fairer for tenants
  • Take action to promote transparency and fairness for the growing number of leaseholders
  • Improve neighbourhoods by continuing to crack down on empty homes and support areas most affected by second homes
  • Encourage the development of housing that meets the needs of an ageing population
  • Help the most vulnerable who need support with their housing, developing a sustainable and workable approach to funding supported housing in the future
  • Do more to prevent homelessness by supporting households at risk before they reach crisis point as well as reducing rough sleeping

No silver bullet, but a welcome boost to the housing debate

The Housing White Paper may not be perfect, but it sure is a creditable effort in a difficult arena. And, as Gavin Barwell himself says, repeatedly and candidly, there are no silver bullets, says Jackie Sadek. Read more… 

CBRE’s Richard Lemon explains the lack of Starter Homes focus

The Housing White Paper has dropped starter homes from being a manadatory requirement for new development. CBRE’s Richard Lemon explains why. 

White paper needs to look across the sector

The White Paper needs to look at all tenures and continue to focus on the new build market, according to Justin Gaze at Knight Frank.

White paper slammed as ‘feeble’

Shadow housing minister, Labour’s John Healey has slammed the white paper as “feeble beyond belief” in his response to Sajid Javid in the Commons and that “We were promised with a white paper. We are presented with a white flag”. Healey says the proposals show the Conservatives have given up on the concept of home ownership whilst offering little to help renters.  

House builders: use it or lose it

Local authorities may soon be able to withdraw planning permission from consented schemes more easily under new proposals revealed in the Housing White Paper today. Read more…

Savills’ Lucian Cook reacts to white paper

Savills’ director of residential research Lucian Cook has analysed the new “carrots and sticks” for developers and local authorities in the housing white paper. Read more…

Starter home scheme watered down in Housing White Paper

Starter homes will not be a mandatory part of new housing developments, according to the Housing White Paper released today. Read more…

NPPF to include rented sector

The government is to consult on making build to rent a formal part of the National Planning Policy Framework under guidance issued in the Housing White Paper today. Read more…

Local authorities given green light to increase planning fees by 20%

Local authorities will be able to increase fees by 20% from July 2017 if they commit to invest the additional fee income in their planning department. Read more…

Local authorities to face planning target test

A new housing delivery test will force local authorities to grant planning permissions if they fail to reach land release targets. Read more…

Rents and land critical for housing associations

The UK’s most active housing association says the key for HAs is land and future rental increases, which the government white paper has committed to having a conversation about. Read more…

Real time market reaction from the
four biggest housebuilders in the UK

Housebuilders will be forced to speed up their delivery and start construction in two years instead of three as part of the government’s plans to fix the housing crisis.

New planning rules will also allow councils to “proactively plan” for more long-term build to rent homes.

As we watch and wait to see what else the government announces for housebuilders, here is how the markets are reacting:






Housebuilders forced to speed up delivery in white paper

Housebuilders will be forced to start construction in two years instead of three as part of government plans to fix the housing crisis. Read more…

PRS: A sector for everyone?

An exclusive look at the latest report into the private rented sector by the BPF and Savills shows its gains and objectives. The problem is it is not called the PRS. Read more…

What to expect

Find out what the industry knows so far and what the sector wants. Read more…

JACKIE SADEK: UK housing’s best chance in decades

So the housing white paper will definitely get launched tomorrow. I’m a bit embarrassed about how many times I have made predictions in public about the date, but it would seem that this time there is no room for doubt. And JLL has just put up the sainted Adam Challis to comment on Twitter this afternoon, so it must be true. Read more…

Housing minister promises PRS boost

A boost to the private rented sector has been promised by housing minister Gavin Barwell ahead of the release of the government’s housing white paper. Read more…

Barwell sketches out housing white paper

Housing minister Gavin Barwell has said the housing white paper will focus on four key areas: land release, speeding up build-out rates, diversifying the market and de-politicising the planning system. Read more…



BBC: Affordable rent measures promised in housing white paper

BBC: Housebuilder L&G wants ‘reassessment’ of green belt