London Councils are concerned that the starter homes policy as designed does not take account of London’s distinct housing market and of the need for a wide range of different housing tenures to be delivered. Indeed any urban area facing housing pressures will want to retain the decision-making and flexibility to address their housing needs.
We have three main concerns about the legislative requirements around Starter Homes, in relation to:
We support amendment 78 and believe that it will help put a safeguard in the bill to ensure that local planning authorities retain the flexibility to develop plans to meet the housing needs of different people in their area. Under this amendment, the Secretary of State would be required to take account of any local housing and planning documents based on an assessment of local housing needs before overriding a particular policy on the basis that it is incompatible with delivering Starter Homes.
We also believe that amendments 59, 66, 69 and 72 could also help ensure that Starter Homes could be delivered alongside other affordable housing products and in consultation with local authorities.