Councils support Oliver Letwin’s housing review

Councils support Oliver Letwin’s housing review

Councils in Dorset have contributed a local perspective to West Dorset MP Oliver Letwin’s review of build-out rates on large housing sites.

Members and officers from West Dorset District Council, North Dorset District Council and Weymouth & Portland Borough Council met with Sir Oliver at South Walks House in Dorchester.

The MP is holding a review commissioned by the Chancellor of the Exchequer into the build-out rates achieved by large developers on large sites after planning permission has been granted for the development of those sites.

The council delegation in Dorchester explained their experiences in Dorset and presented a dossier of information.  They also set out their new Opening Doors campaign to encourage greater housebuilding in the area.

Councillor Tim Yarker, West Dorset Housing Portfolio Holder, said: “We were grateful for this opportunity to talk to Sir Oliver about our experiences and offer ideas which may assist in his review.”

Councillor Graham Carr-Jones, North Dorset Housing Portfolio Holder, added: “Some of the issues being examined are common to all council areas so his review has the potential for significant change locally and nationally.”

Details of Sir Oliver’s review and his expert panel were announced shortly before his meeting in Dorchester. His investigation will identify the main causes of the gap between the number of planning permissions being granted and the number of homes built before making recommendations about practical steps to increase the speed of ‘build out’ of schemes with planning consent.

Sir Oliver commented: “The Government is serious about finding ways to increase the speed of build out as well as tackling the complicated issues surrounding it.

“Information-gathering sessions with local authorities, developers, non-government organisations and others will play a major role.”

Sir Oliver also backed the Opening Doors programme: “It was also encouraging to hear of the launch of the Opening Doors programme as a proactive way to help meet housing need in our area.”

Opening Doors aims to encourage the construction of a total of 20,000 more homes in the councils’ areas by 2033.

Pictured above, from left to right, are: Cllr Tim Yarker, West Dorset; MP Oliver Letwin; Cllr Graham Carr-Jones, North Dorset and Cllr Gill Taylor, Weymouth and Portland.

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