More than 20 influential political figures and industry leading lights have called for comprehensive brownfield redevelopment, urban extensions and garden cities to help increase the number of homes built across the UK.
The letter to The Times published today is signed by such key people as MP Nick Raynsford, Lord Wolfson – who set housing delivery as the theme of the 2014 Wolfson Prize for Economics – and High Speed 2 executive chairman Sir David Higgins. Their move follows publication of the review of housing delivery undertaken by Sir Michael Lyons – one of the letter’s signatories – for the Labour Party’s policy review.
It says that there is a need for a national political consensus to deliver more homes, arguing, “For too long planning has been marked by division”. It says the consensus should focus on:
- Comprehensive redevelopment of brownfield land, such as the docks in London, Salford and Bristol
- Extensions to existing communities – which it says, “should not be housing estates just added to the edge of a town”
- New settlements based on garden city principles.
The letter concludes, “The country must set itself on a sustainable path to create communities with the best public transport, play areas, schools, workplaces and social facilities.”
Signatories to the letter include:
- Lord Adonis, Labour peer
- Lord Wolfson, Conservative peer and chief executive of retailer Next
- Lord Deben, Conservative peer and chairman of the Committee on Climate Change
- Nick Raynsford, Labour MP
- Lord Taylor, Liberal Democrat peer
- Sir David Higgins, executive chairman, High Speed 2
- Sir Michael Lyons, Labour peer who has just completed the housing review for the Labour Party
- Kate Henderson, chief executive, Town and Country Planning Association
- Roger Bootle, director, Capital Economics
- Campbell Robb, chief executive, Shelter
- Paul Carter, leader, Kent County Council
- Keith Exford, chief executive, Affinity Sutton
- Sir Terry Farrell, founder of architect planner Farrells
- Roger Madelin, joint chief executive, Argent
- Lee Shostak, chairman, Shared Intelligence
- David Orr, chief executive, National Housing Federation.