Posted by: Adam Roake | January 14, 2011

New Homes Bonus Concerns

It seems that local authorities in the South East have already spotted the distinct prevalence of stick over carrot (see previous blog) in Grant Shapp’s flagship policy to promote house building. The South East Strategic Leaders have published their consultation response to Mr Shapp’s proposals and they say;

We welcome the principle of rewarding local authorities where growth takes place and the localist approach to determining levels of development, however we have a number of serious concerns about the way in which the NHB is proposed to be implemented.

It is not clear to us that the outlined approach provides enough of an incentive to communities for them to welcome development. We also believe that the NHB will be more effective if it represents additional funding over and above existing sources of revenue.

Elsewhere they criticise the proposal for,

“…the top-slicing of Formula Grant to reward new housing delivery (which will actually increase pressure on the infrastructure and services provided by local authorities) which will impact on the ability of authorities to deliver these services.

The SESL represent more than 10million people in the overcrowded south east, where house prices continue to rise despite the national slowdown, as reported by Academetrics, usually considered the most accurate house price index. We desperately need to build more homes in the south east, to deal with the increasing number of households forming there, through inward migration and natural population growth, but Nimbyism is nowhere stronger than here. It seems I am not alone in thinking that the New Homes Bonus is a lame response.  Perhaps Mr Shapps is right to expect that self-builders will come to the rescue and deliver the 232,000 new homes needed each year (according to DCLG figures).



  1. The SESL should of made this statement first, instead of initially whinging about the 80/20 split. This has all the hallmarks of backtracking because they have had stick from their lower tier councils.

    Let’s take the self-build idea one stage further. Once they’ve introduced their anything goes policies, having kicked in to touch all semblance of impartial and evidence based control, Dumb & Dumber (fill in the names for yourselves) could declare all local government as a disaster zone and in need of emergency assistance, due to a desperate shortage of shelter.

    This in turn, would trigger the still very generous and ring fenced overseas aid budget in to providing the aid in the form of building materials. This wouldn’t need to be anything too elaborate, given the impending lack of regulation and the emergence of self declaring ‘communities’. Wriggly tin for the roof, straw bales for the walls, etc, etc. All those self builders could then have a field day, chucking their various abodes up, on the now abandoned areas of public open space, that used to be cared for by the now defunct local council. Job done – I should be a minister!

  2. Roger,

    I’m so sorry but I’ve only just seen your comment here. Personally, I’d vote for you!

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