Lyons: Lift HRA cap and release land

‘The cap on council’s borrowing should be lifted to allow more homes to be built and cities to expand, according to planning recommendations from Sir Michael Lyons.

“In England there is a specific cap on the council Housing Revenue Account (HRA). The overwhelming weight of the evidence that has come to us from public and private bodies, says ‘for goodness sake lift the HRA cap'” he says.

Sir Michael’s report into house building for Labour is due to be unveiled in detail in September. The release of land is the single most important barrier to combatting the housing shortage and whilst communities should have a say in planning, they should not be able to veto new homes in a time of severe shortage, Sir Michael adds.

Other recommendations he is considering include introducing a transparent land registry to reveal the land agents, developers and hedge funds that were driving up expectations on land price by taking options on land liable for development and creating a new generation of Urban Development Corporations to build sizeable extensions on the edge of existing towns and cities.’

Source: The Guardian



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