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The government can’t leave the free market to sort the housing crisis

It's not just about planning

By Mike Amesbury  

A newly completed housing development in East Sussex © Simon Turner/Alamy Stock Photo

Solving the housing crisis, boosting the economy, creating sustainable jobs, meeting net-zero goals and responding to Covid are all laudable aims. How you get there is another matter. It’s an age-old Conservative Party trick to create a narrative about a broken system, then conclude that the only solution is the unfettered market riding in on a white charger. That’s what lay behind the Planning for the Future White Paper, now set to come before us as a bill following the Queen’s Speech. 

There’s no doubt elements of the planning system are slow and archaic. We need timely local…

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