As Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities and Minister for Intergovernmental Relations, Michael Gove is reviewing the issues he has inherited, including housing targets.
He told the House of Commons housing committee in early November, that he was reviewing previous policies. Among the policies being reviewed is the current housing targets that allow or encourage the building of new homes in different areas of England.
Mr Gove said the government’s housing targets have been based on out of date assumptions, and often meant houses were being built in areas where local people were resistant to new development. He believed that communities should be able to prevent large housing targets being imposed on areas that were often located in the most beautiful parts of the countryside, to better meet the housing needs of local communities.
That said, he confirmed that the present plan of building 300,000 new houses by the mid-2020s would not be amended.
One of the counties affected by housing policy is Cornwall. In Falmouth, the application for a development of 25 affordable houses has been approved, even though Constantine Parish Council said that housing need had been ‘artificially inflated’ to justify the application and that the village was unable to support more homes.
The estimated housing need was based on 54 households on the housing waiting list who had a local connection to Constantine, of whom 49 currently lived in the parish. The parish council said the housing waiting list often included ‘individual requests for housing in multiple parishes on the Homechoice register’. Homechoice is a bidding system that allows those seeking an affordable home can apply through Homechoice for properties owned and managed by Cornwall Council and its partner landlords.