What if..

I’ve been pondering the likely landscape post lock-down. It feels like we may be entering a new era as we are may see some major shifts in macro policies and funding priorities as politicians from across the political spectrum work together for the interest of national unity and survival.

Significant things we could see over the next few years include sustainable funding and tax strategy for Adult Social Care; NHS put on a sustainable long-term footing; the gig/low wage economy being curtailed and the living wage being adopted by all. I’m sure you can name many more you’d like to see happen.

So what about the residential development sector? How can we, along with national and local government, make a better future for the many and not the few. The sector may decide to take a longer term view on residential development, with a greater emphasis on affordable housing, the delivery genuine mixed communities that focus on people’s wellbeing.

Personally, I’d welcome seeing the self-policing of Permitted Developments Rights; that we shift the agenda to delivering well designed decent accommodation, focusing on affordability and wellbeing of tenants and leaseholders. Imagine the sector saying to government that Permitted Development Rights, as currently allowed for, is not setting a higher enough standard and consultants, developers and contractors refuse to work on any scheme that does not set a good standard of housing. Can we collectively shut down the awful business model of maximising development and operational profits with no concern about offering decent housing that meets genuine housing need? We have the power to do this.


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