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Summary of Planning and Housing Consultation

In response to the CPF consultation on Planning & Housing, we received substantive submissions from 61 CPF groups, representing at least 587 members from 120 constituencies plus one national group and one Conservatives Abroad group. Of those who participated this time, one-in-seven (15%) had not previously participated in CPF discussions. In addition, just under 1,400 members from across at least 632 constituencies responded to a follow-up survey conducted by email. Thank you to everybody who let us know their views.

Particular congratulations to the following CPF Groups, which submitted the most noteworthy submissions:

  1. Broadland and Norwich

  2. Sherborne, West Dorset

  3. Sittingbourne and Sheppey

  4. Thirsk and Malton

  5. Lewes

  6. Esher and Walton

  7. Totnes

  8. Hong Kong

  9. Petersfield, East Hampshire

  10. Reigate and Banstead

Below is a snapshot of the top themes raised by CPF groups. A more detailed collation of responses has been sent to the Prime Minister’s Policy Unit, the Party Chairmen and the CPF Chairman. As usual, we look forward to publishing a formal response to members’ ideas in due course.

Overview of Top Themes

“At present, there is 0% VAT on demolition and replacement, but 20% VAT on retrofitting existing buildings to current environmental standards: these incentives must be reversed.”

“Stop interfering with the commercial housing market: loosen the planning requirements and release more land.”

There was a very high level of support for several proposals independently made by a large number of CPF Groups, including:

  • improve the quality of construction, particularly provision of effective soundproofing (90% net positive Supportive)

  • give priority to applications for development on brownfield sites (83%)

  • encourage greater use of insulation, solar panels and ground source heating (67%)

  • have Councils offer more small building sites for the self-build market (59%)

  • encourage greater use of Modern Methods of Construction (MMC), i.e. modular / prefabricated / factory-built homes (44%)

Top responses for how to fund some of the proposals included:

  • They would pay for themselves (25%)

  • Reduce waste, including public sector defined benefit pension schemes (15%)

  • A higher level of stamp duty for foreign buyers and the purchase of second or buy-to-let homes (13%)

  • A developers’ capital gains tax (12%)

  • Introduce other taxes, e.g. online sales, higher VAT on non-luxury items, extend NI to all earnings and all ages (8%)

  • Increase VAT on new builds (7%)

  • A greenfield tax (4%)

  • Close tax loopholes and reduce fraud (4%)

Other highlights from consultation responses

Over half the CPF Groups said that more decisions should be made at local level.

Over half the Groups said to prioritise applications for development on brownfield sites. Several Groups proposed punitive taxes for building on greenbelt land.

About one-third of Groups called for more investment in infrastructure.

Almost one-third of Groups want more done to encourage SME builders.

Over one-third of Groups called for more imaginative use of new and sustainable low-cost building techniques such as prefabrication, as in Germany and Scandinavia.

There was a widespread recognition that “there is a real need for more purpose-built accessible housing” “that older people can afford to buy, helping to keep them out of care homes.”

Other common suggestions included:

  • Simplifying planning laws and regulations.

  • Provide for affordable homes, not just affordable tenure of standard houses.

  • Change the mortgage rules, e.g. introduce “life-time mortgages”.

  • Increase the housebuilding target from 300,000 to 400,000 per annum.

  • Learn from Swedish and German practice of long-term rental of apartments/houses.


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