Bishop of St Albans calls for more home building, less land banking

St Albans 2On 15th September 2016 Lord Kennedy of Southwark asked Her Majesty’s Government “what action they are taking to reverse the decline in home ownership.” The Bishop of St Albans, Rt Revd Alan Smith, asked a follow-up question:

The Lord Bishop of St Albans: My Lords, while the price of land continues to increase so rapidly, landowners have much less incentive for immediate development, particularly if they are negotiating with local authorities over their desire for more affordable housing requirements. Will Her Majesty’s Government take further steps to tackle land-banking, so that we can get more houses up more quickly? Continue reading “Bishop of St Albans calls for more home building, less land banking”

Housing and Planning Bill: Bishop of Peterborough supports protections for victims of domestic violence

14.02 PeterboroughOn 18th April 2016, the House of Lords debated an amendment to the Housing and Planning Bill that would mean victims of domestic violence who leave a secure social tenancy would be able to access a new secure tenancy, rather than the proposed short-term tenancies. The amendment had been tabled by Baroness Lister, with the support of the Bishop of St Albans, the Rt Revd Alan Smith. The Bishop of Peterborough, the Rt Revd Donald Allister spoke to the amendment on the Bishop of St Albans’ behalf.

The amendment was later withdrawn, after the Government committed to introduce it through regulations. Continue reading “Housing and Planning Bill: Bishop of Peterborough supports protections for victims of domestic violence”

Housing and Planning Bill: Bishop of St Albans tables amendment on rural right to buy

On the 13th April 2016 the Bishop of St Albans, the Rt Revd Alan Smith, tabled an amendment to the Housing and Planning Bill that would prevent Right to Buy from occuring in rural areas unless rural replacements were guaranteed. Baroness Evans of Park responded on behalf of the government. The amendment was later withdrawn.

Bishop St Albans June 2015


The Lord Bishop of St Albans: My Lords, I rise to speak to Amendment 52, which is in my name and has the support of the noble Baroness, Lady Royall. I am grateful to the noble Lord, Lord Young, for his comments. I also want to note my support for Amendment 51, tabled by the noble Lords, Lord Kennedy and Lord Beecham, which would serve to better protect areas of high value, such as St Albans city and district in my own diocese, from a potential loss of social housing to other parts of the country. Continue reading “Housing and Planning Bill: Bishop of St Albans tables amendment on rural right to buy”

Housing and Planning Bill: Bishop of Coventry supports increased controls on Starter Homes

Bp Coventry May 2015On 11th April 2016, the House of Lords debated the Government’s Housing and Planning Bill at its Report stage. Lord Best and Lord Beecham tabled amendments to increase the period for which Starter Homes had to be sold at a discount. The Bishop of Coventry, the Rt Revd Christopher Cocksworth, spoke in support of these amendments, and Baroness Williams of Trafford responded on behalf of the government. In a subsequent vote, amendment 1 was passed by 275 votes to 181.


 

Lord Bishop of Coventry: My Lords, I apologise for not engaging with the Bill at an earlier stage. Other colleagues from this Bench who have engaged with it are unable to be here today. I declare an interest: I have five children, and I worry very much about how they will own their own properties. Two have already managed to; the other three will need to work on it. It will be a little bit difficult for them. They will not have a great deal from me to help them, as they come from a clergy family. That is my second declaration of interest. Living on a clergy stipend for most of my adult life and living in clergy accommodation means that I have got to know the letting world reasonably well as a way of trying to make provision for my future and my family’s future when I am evicted from my house at some point. Continue reading “Housing and Planning Bill: Bishop of Coventry supports increased controls on Starter Homes”

Housing and Planning Bill: Bishop of St Albans supports amendment to planning requirements on small developments

On 23rd March, the Bishop of St Albans, the Rt Revd Alan Smith, supported an amendment at Committee Stage of the Government’s Housing and Planning Bill. The amendment, tabled by Baroness Royall, sought to protect the right of local authorities to impose section 106 requirements on smaller developments. It was withdrawn after the debate. Baroness Williams of Trafford responded on behalf of the government. 

Bishop St Albans June 2015 Continue reading “Housing and Planning Bill: Bishop of St Albans supports amendment to planning requirements on small developments”

Bishop of St Albans asks about localism and Starter Homes

Bishop St Albans June 2015On 7th March 2016, Lord Shipley asked the Government “what is their definition of affordable housing.” The Bishop of St Albans, the Rt Revd Alan Smith, asked a supplementary question and Baroness Williams of Trafford responded. Continue reading “Bishop of St Albans asks about localism and Starter Homes”