New homes built to new design standards can help push up house prices for people who already live there, the Housing Secretary has said, in a riposte to local people who fight new development.
Speaking to the Policy Exchange think tank, Robert Jenrick said: “Beautiful, high quality homes are approved quicker, sell faster, add to house prices and are enduringly popular.”
The Government is committed to lift the numbers of new homes to be built every year to 300,000 by the middle of this decade. A new design code was published yesterday to increase standards.
Mr Jenrick said new homes were often unpopular because they were constructed to poor standards.
A “less explored” thesis was “how the decline in quality that we have seen since the post-war period has corresponded with ever increasing opposition to new housing.
“The case for new housing is more important than ever, but it is also more difficult to make than ever. Far from beauty and quality being a luxury, they are key to unlocking community consent for development and housing.”
Building for the ‘next generation’
As many as 100 Tory MPs are set to join forces with opposition MPs this autumn to fight plans in a planning White Paper radically to increase house building in large parts of England.
Mr Jenrick added that people have a “duty” to the next generation to allow more homes to be built.
He said: “We do have a duty to the next generation and to those on lower incomes to build more homes and ensure that families can live and grow up with the security and pride that comes with secure housing.”
Mr Jenrick said there was a “moral duty to listen to the needs of legitimate desires of communities and bring forward higher quality developments than we have seen in recent decades”.
He added: “The debate does need to mature. At the moment, people tend to take very sectional approaches: there are people who care only about the supply of new homes, who only care about the environmental impact of new homes, and who only care about house design.
“As Secretary of State, someone has to hold the ring. What is in the national interest? How do those things come together in a degree of harmony?”