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Date: 1/6/2005

In response to the Government’s announcement ‘extending home ownership’ the Planning Officers Society indicated that the provision of affordable housing, be it for rent or ownership, is probably the biggest challenge facing the delivery of sustainable communities throughout the country.

Graham Jones, President of the Society said “Affordable housing is not being provided through the market so Government and Local Government must intervene, but the delivery mechanisms and resources are clearly not adequate for the task at present.”

The Society is of the view that whilst there are limits to what can be done through the planning system and other initiatives, such as the shared ownership scheme, these are to be welcomed, although this in itself will not add to the overall stock.

The Society also welcomes the release of surplus government land. However, Jones warned that “care will need to be taken to ensure that such releases are in sustainable locations which have proper infrastructure and result in sustainable communities rather than repeating past mistakes by creating isolated estates of public sector housing. In the same way, we must ensure that the move to drive down construction costs doesn’t result in driving down standards.”


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