Queen’s Speech – Bishop of St Albans on planning, building safety and accessibility

On 17th May 2021 the Bishop of St Albans spoke in the third day of debates on the Queen’s Speech in the House of Lords, focusing on the continuing issues of leaseholders facing costs for replacing dangerous cladding, and the new planning Bill.

“My Lords, I too look forward to hearing the maiden speeches of the noble Lords, Lord Coaker and Lord Morse, but I want to start by congratulating the Minister on introducing the leasehold reform Bill.

“Ending ground rents—or, as one person called it recently, the serfdom charge—in new developments is an important and positive reform, and I will welcome this opportunity to be mostly congruent with the Minister, after been being on opposing sides of the Fire Safety Bill. While this is a great victory for future leaseholders, existing leaseholders, particularly those in developments affected by the building and fire safety scandal, nervously await their fate.

Continue reading “Queen’s Speech – Bishop of St Albans on planning, building safety and accessibility”

Bishop of St Albans asks about housing market

On 16th November the Bishop of St Albans received a written answer in response to a question on house prices, sales and diversification:

The Lord Bishop of St Albans: To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answers by Lord Greenhalgh on 1 October (HL8296), 6 October (HL8828), and 28 October (HL9442), what assessment they have made of the impact of (1) fears of negative equity on existing house purchases, and (2) house prices rising faster than wage increases, on the effectiveness of diversification. [HL9871] Continue reading “Bishop of St Albans asks about housing market”

Bishop of St Albans asks about targets for disabled-access homes

On 4th November 2020 Baroness Greengross asked the  Government “what steps they are taking to ensure that changes to the planning system will deliver more homes that are accessible for people with disabilities.” The Bishop of St Albans asked a further question:

The Lord Bishop of St Albans [V]: My Lords, with regions such as the north-west, the north-east and Yorkshire hosting less than one disabled-access home ​for every 100 homes, and regions such as the West Midlands hosting just over one disabled-access home for every 300 homes, given that 15.2% of the population is elderly and 18% of the population is disabled, is it now time that the Government mandated targets for disabled-access homes rather than simply relying on local authorities? Continue reading “Bishop of St Albans asks about targets for disabled-access homes”

Bishop of St Albans ask Government about land banking

On 28th October the Bishop of St Albans received a written answer to a question on housing construction:

The Lord Bishop of St Albans: To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answers by Lord Greenhalgh on 1 October (HL8296) and on 19 October (HL8828), what assessment they have made of the impact of tackling the practices of ‘land banking’ and ‘intentional delay’ on the market absorption rates in the housing market. [HL9442] Continue reading “Bishop of St Albans ask Government about land banking”

Bishop of St Albans asks Government about stalled housing developments

On Monday 19th October the Bishop of St Albans received a written answer to a question on stalled housing developments:

The Lord Bishop of St Albans: To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Greenhalgh on 1 October (HL8296) and the White Paper Planning for the Future, published on 6 August, what assessment they have made of the reasons for low market absorption rates as the responsible factor for stalled developments. [HL8828] Continue reading “Bishop of St Albans asks Government about stalled housing developments”

Bishop of St Albans asks Government to speed up housebuilding process

On 13th October 2020 Baroness Thornhill asked the Government “what assessment they have made of the efficacy of the Housing Delivery Test.” The Bishop of St Albans asked a further question:

The Lord Bishop of St Albans [V]: My Lords, the ambition of the White Paper Planning for the Future, to streamline planning permission and impose building targets on local authorities fails to address the existing slow build-out rate that occurs once planning permission ​has been granted. Will the Government add provisions to ensure that local authorities have adequate scope to alter centralised algorithmic targets in accordance with local supply capabilities and build-out rates? Continue reading “Bishop of St Albans asks Government to speed up housebuilding process”

Bishop of St Albans asks Government about draft National Planning Policy Framework

 

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On 11th July 2018 the Bishop of St Albans, Rt Revd Alan Smith received written answers to four questions on the draft National Planning Policy Framework:

The Lord Bishop of St Albans: 

(i) To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they intend to develop local-connection criteria for the proposed Entry Level Exception Site policy in the draft National Planning Policy Framework. Continue reading “Bishop of St Albans asks Government about draft National Planning Policy Framework”

Neighbourhood Planning Bill: Archbishop of York supports amendment on community value of pubs

york-170117On 28th February 2017 the House of Lords considered the Government’s Neighbourhood Planning Bill at Report Stage. The Archbishop of York, Most Revd and Rt Hon John Sentamu, spoke in favour of an amendment to ensure planning permission had to be granted for a change of use for pub buildings. The amendment was passed at a vote. Continue reading “Neighbourhood Planning Bill: Archbishop of York supports amendment on community value of pubs”

Neighbourhood Planning Bill: Archbishop of York supports amendment on planning regulations

 

york-170117-bOn 23rd February the House of Lords considered the Government’s Neighbourhood Planning Bill at Report Stage. The Archbishop of York, Most Revd & Rt Hon John Sentamu spoke in support of an amendment from Lord Stunell on planning authority regulations. 

The amendment was put to a vote and passed by 113 votes to 107.

Amendment 18

Moved by Lord Stunell

18: Clause 13, page 14, line 5, at end insert—

“(2A) No regulations shall be made under subsection (1) that would have the effect of preventing a local planning authority from requiring a condition that would otherwise be in conformity with the national planning policy framework.”

The Archbishop of York: My Lords, first, I apologise to the noble Baroness, Lady Cumberlege. I was whispering to her because the spirit was on me, and was saying, “Preach it, sister, preach it”, as she referred to a document as a bible.* Continue reading “Neighbourhood Planning Bill: Archbishop of York supports amendment on planning regulations”

Archbishop of York speaks on importance of building communities as well as homes

On 24th January 2017 Labour Peer Baroness Andrews moved “That the Grand Committee takes note of the Report from the Select Committee on National Policy for the Built Environment (Session 2015–16, HL Paper 100).” The Archbishop of York, Most Revd John Sentamu, spoke in the debate, highlighting the need not only for new homes but for community resources too:

york-170117The Archbishop of York: My Lords, it is essential that more homes are built to support the population of the United Kingdom. Parliament’s own publication estimates that a minimum of 230,000 new homes need to be built each year, a level of building not sustained since the 1970s, and two to three times above the current levels of supply. Some 81,000 households were estimated to be homeless or in temporary accommodation in 2013-14. It is young people in their late teens and 20s who are most unable to afford rents, particularly in the private sector. The gap between average household income and house price continues to rise, further reducing affordability for many households. Therefore, as affordable new-build housing is essential, the quality and effort put into designing the living environment and communal space becomes even more important. Continue reading “Archbishop of York speaks on importance of building communities as well as homes”