Formula ‘will see fewer homes built in the north’

An updated government algorithm for setting house-building targets will lead to a stark variation in where new homes are required, without regard to the wider levelling-up agenda, the LGA has warned.

It says the new formula for setting targets on the number of homes to be built in councils’ areas will lead to a housing boom in London, the Midlands and the south of England, while swathes of the north will see fewer homes built. 

The new methodology will also disproportionately impact on rural, rather than urban, areas. In some of the most rural places in England, there will be a requirement for a 59 per cent increase in homes on the number needed under the current algorithm, compared with a 20 per cent increase in major urban areas.

Under the new national targets, London will be expected to have a 161 per cent increase in housing. A 57 per cent increase in new homes will be expected in the South East and 39 per cent in the South West.

Significantly fewer homes will be built in northern cities, with the new formula resulting in a 66 per cent decrease on the number of those built in Newcastle in recent years, a 59 per cent decrease in Liverpool, 20 per cent in Sheffield and 16 per cent in Leeds. 

Cllr David Renard, the LGA’s Housing Spokesperson, said: “Algorithms and formulas can never be a substitute for local knowledge and decision-making by councils and communities who know their areas best. 

“If we are to truly fix our chronic housing shortage, the Spending Review needs to ensure councils have the tools, powers and flexibilities to plan for and deliver the quality homes and places our communities need.”


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