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Parish councils should have control over new housing, argues think tank

Published 11th August 2017

Up to five million new homes could be built if people in individual streets were given control over planning permission and if parish councils could consent to development in the green belt, according to the Adam Smith Institute.

In its latest report, the free market think tank says the UK's GDP would grow by 30% and existing homeowners would be up to three times better off by 'beautify streets and turning semis and bungalows into traditional terraces'.

The report's author, John Myers of London Yimby - 'yes in my back yard' - says power should be given to parishes to 'improve their green belt by swapping dead land or intensive farmland for development' and devolved city-region mayors should be allowed to choose different planning regimes for their area.
He says politicians could 'neutralise' nimbys - 'not in my back yard' - by letting local people take the lead on deciding how and where to build new homes.

Mr Myers said: 'A new generation of young people is demanding change to avoid being worse off than their parents.

'There are vote-winning ways to make decent homes truly affordable with the support of existing homeowners, if only we seize them.'

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