Rebuild anything | conservative house


In news that will surprise no one at all, the government appears to have backtracked further on its urban planning reforms. Yesterday, Michael Gove, the Secretary of State for Leveling, Housing and Communities, said he would look at how “housing needs” are calculated and suggested that some of the assumptions behind the numbers “are probably out of date.”

This was taken as another sign of the conservatives’ attempt to distance themselves from their original plans for building houses. Just last month Boris Johnson tried to reassure voters at the Conservative Party Conference that the “beautiful” ones should only be built “on brownfield sites in places where homes make sense,” in a pledge that will not help in any way. ‘England to achieve its housing goals. He was very different from a Prime Minister who had promised, in his first speech off Downing Street, that the Tories would give “millions of young people have the opportunity to own their own home“.

As many know, Conservatives are frightened by the outcome of the Chesham & Amersham by-election, in which the Liberal Democrats played on fears of planning reforms to win votes. The result was seen as proof that Conservatives have gone too far in overthrowing the Blue Wall, so they are now trying to make all the right noises about “beautiful” homes and land protection around the UK. In addition to that, the party will struggle to get any decent reform beyond its bankers, many of whom seem more upset by the green belt of millions of people in need of housing.

Speaking of housing needs, Gove warned that “We want to be in a position where people accept and welcome new developments.” But the idea that homeowners in general (and bankers) will accept, let alone welcome, new developments, to the extent that the country needs them, is kind of a pipe dream.

It goes without saying that there is no easy answer to solving the crisis – indeed, many articles on this site are devoted to the subject – even if it is mainly a supply problem. Yet as one millennial observes, the government’s strategy at the moment seems to be hoping the problem will magically disappear, buying time by arguing over the complexity of the reforms. In the meantime, it has thrown a bone at renters through a 95% mortgage plan, an idea that will only increase the demand for homes.

To make progress, the government would have to spend as much energy as it does to reach Net Zero on obtaining housing. Interestingly, in becoming an ecologist, you have no qualms about upsetting the electorate – from the talk about people having to replace gas boilers, to the Climate Change Committee’s recommendations that the public forgo meat. “This is an emergency”, it will be said around its eco-policies. Yet housing is not that far away and it also affects the future of many young people.

Although the government is concerned about Chesham & Amersham – and the rest of the Blue Wall – its current approach risks another kind of electrical disaster, as has been pointed out on several occasions, as those in their thirties and forties remain infantilized by economic conditions. But getting housing is not just a matter of political progress; It is a moral duty to the generations, whose hopes and dreams are sacrificed to keep England, the homeowner, happy. For renters, the conservative view cannot continue to be Build Back Nothing.


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