QUOTE OF THE DAY:

“I am so clever, that sometimes I do not understand a single word of what I’m saying.” – Oscar Wilde

And so, another year is upon us, we are one step further away from the last big recession, and one big step closer to the next (according to some wise heads anyway). Will this be the year in which the government finally implodes and, like an unintentional rat snake, effectively eats itself in a phenomenal act of self-harm?

In the midst of the whole Deal or No Deal debate with Juncker seemingly controlling the big black phone (arguably, Noel Edmonds is actually better qualified to handle Brexit than anyone actually in Government), it would be easy to forget that there is life outside Brexit. But indeed there is, and it actually sometimes progresses quite nicely when there is less government intervention.

Indeed, in planning and development terms, 2019 has the potential to be the year when, in certain regions in particular, partnerships between the public and private sector come to the fore and deliver genuine results (definitely not in Haringey though where one of the self-declared Stalinist Cabinet member has described his role as being to dismantle all private sector relationships which the Council has(we look forward to seeing the success of that endeavour).

AS A BRIEF RECAP, IN 2018 WE SAW:

  • Two Secretaries of State and two new Housing Ministers (because who needs collective historical experience when you can just reinvent the wheel)
  • A consultation on PDR
  • A new improved NPPF (did anyone – other than lawyers – actually read all of it?)
  • Various multiplying measures to increase/speed up housebuilding
  • Letwin, Letwin and more Letwin
  • The adoption of a lot of Local Plans
  • The rejection of a lot of Local Plans
  • The attempted abdication of responsibility by the government for housing its citizens to the private sector by continuing to talk about the ‘moral obligation’ of housebuilders to deliver affordable housing (without apparently ever questioning the economics of whether if 30% of the product on a site is effectively given away for free, which means 70% of the product is covering 100% of the land and build costs, what role does this have in further inflating house prices… discuss?)
  • The – genuinely exciting – freeing up of local authorities and Registered Providers to borrow money to forward fund social housing (although no actual funding to recruit staff with the skills to deliver homes)
  • The introduction of regulations to create more New Towns (again, still waiting for a new New Town)
  • The launch of the Social Housing Green Paper
  • Guidance on Build to Rent
  • More consultation on CIL
  • A lot of noise around Land Value Capture with little actual substance for now

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