Two-tier collaboration vital part of housing cap abolition

 

County councils have warned of a need for greater strategic planning after the prime minister scrapped restrictions on authorities borrowing to build housing.

At the Conservative Party conference on Wednesday, Theresa May said the government cap on how much housing authorities can borrow against their housing revenue account assets to fund new developments will be abolished.

Mrs May said: ‘Solving the housing crisis is the biggest domestic policy challenge of our generation. It doesn’t make sense to stop councils from playing their part in solving it.’

A housing authority is the local authority with a statutory obligation to house the homeless. This could be a unitary or a district council in a two-tier localtion.

As county councils are transport authorities and districts are local planning authorities, the Government's move, while widely hailed across the local government sector, could create further tension between planning and transport, senior figures have said. 

”Local

Cllr Paul Carter, chairman of the County Councils Network (CCN) and leader of Kent County Council, said  said 'For those district local authorities who may now seek to use these extra borrowing capabilities, the role of county councils in providing vital infrastructure to support housing is now even more important.'

‘As the housing minister suggested [on Tuesday], this must come alongside greater strategic planning across larger, county-wide geographies, and we will work with government and district partners to deliver this.’

Cllr John Fuller, chairman of the District Councils’ Network (DCN), said: ‘The Government expects district councils, as the planning and housing authorities, to manage their local housing markets to benefit people at all stages of their lives.

‘Finally the Government has recognised that councils need the fiscal tools to manage their housing markets by lifting the housing borrowing cap. We welcome this important new power which the DCN has long called for.’

But he added: ‘Many councils with extensive housing potential, often surrounding the largest cities, have transferred their own stock to registered social landlords and therefore don’t have housing revenue accounts. These districts should not miss out on the opportunity to build the homes this country badly needs.’

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government said the move would see up to an estimated 10,000 additional homes a year and ‘recognises that councils see the borrowing cap as the greatest barrier to building new homes'.

Officials said the cap will be lifted ‘as soon as possible, with further details confirmed in the Budget’. 

Transport Network understands that councils had previously tried to get around the borrowing cap by setting up arms length bodies.  

Register now for full access


Register just once to get unrestricted, real-time coverage of the issues and challenges facing UK transport and highways engineers.

Full website content includes the latest news, exclusive commentary from leading industry figures and detailed topical analysis of the highways, transportation, environment and place-shaping sectors. Use the link below to register your details for full, free access.

Already a registered? Login

 
comments powered by Disqus
 
 
highways jobs

Definitive Map Manager

Cambridgeshire County Council
£32,825 - £35,401
This role is based within the Highways Service at Cambridgeshire County Council and provides an unusual and... Cambridgeshire
Recuriter: Cambridgeshire County Council

Bridge Park Operations Manager

Brent Council
£38,799 - £41,706 p.a. inc.
This is an exciting opportunity to play a key role in managing the operations and contributing towards the... Brentford (City/Town), London (Greater)
Recuriter: Brent Council

Assistant Engineer

Cambridgeshire County Council
£21,074 - £30,756
A great opportunity for someone looking to start or develop a career in Highways Engineering including the... Cambridgeshire
Recuriter: Cambridgeshire County Council

Head of Strategic Transport

Cheshire East Council
£64,000 - £75,000 + benefits
We’re committed to “working for a brighter future together” – and we expect you to be too! Cheshire
Recuriter: Cheshire East Council

Regeneration Manager

Mole Valley District Council
£52,895 - £57,143 FTE
This is a great career opportunity to specialise in town centre regeneration and repositioning. Dorking, Surrey
Recuriter: Mole Valley District Council

Technical Services Officer (Mechanical)

Kirklees Metropolitan Council
£36,876 - £38,813
This is an exciting and challenging time for Kirklees and we want to expand our team to manage and deliver construction... Kirklees, West Yorkshire
Recuriter: Kirklees Metropolitan Council

Road and Footway Asset Engineer

Kent County Council
£28,925 per annum
An exciting opportunity has arisen to join the Road and Footway Asset Team as an Asset Engineer. Kent
Recuriter: Kent County Council

Head of Waste

Lincolnshire County Council
£65,651 - £70,725
As Head of Waste, you will be commercially focussed and forward-thinking. Lincolnshire
Recuriter: Lincolnshire County Council

Assistant Director

Reading Borough Council
Up to £92k
It’s the ideal time to take the lead on our modernisation agenda, and deliver growth in the trading of our front line services. Reading, Berkshire
Recuriter: Reading Borough Council

Assistant Director – Highways

Lincolnshire County Council
£82,264 - £107,878
Come and lead the future agenda for our highways services. Lincolnshire
Recuriter: Lincolnshire County Council

County Highways Manager

Lincolnshire County Council
£55,503 - £60,578
Seeking a highly motivated leader and an excellent communicator, who has a proven ability to build relationships and trust, leading by example. Lincolnshire
Recuriter: Lincolnshire County Council

Local Highways Manager (East) - Lincolnshire County Council

Lincolnshire County Council
G12 £43,662 - £50,430
Seeking someone who combines excellent technical knowledge with a dedication to the customer. Lincolnshire
Recuriter: Lincolnshire County Council