The Daily Telegraph
Future of housing
sir – The simpler planning system proposed by the Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick (report, August 5) continues to shelter central government behind local authorities, which will have the unenviable task of designating the “developable” parts of their area.
I became a planner when central government had the courage to designate new towns and gave newly created development corporations the resources to build them.
We now need to plan over far wider areas than a mosaic of individual local authorities could achieve. Examples could be the long-discussed arcs of development from Cambridge through Milton Keynes to Oxford; and from Liverpool through Manchester and Leeds to Hull.
Let the Government meet the pain and reap the glory of creating the houses and economic growth we so badly need.
sir – While Robert Jenrick is reforming the planning system, he might turn his attention to the historic building regulations, which are lengthy, confusing and cumbersome.
Most owners of listed buildings understand the heritage and architectural importance of their homes and are keen to preserve their integrity, character and history.
But the process for obtaining consent to make essential repairs is burdensome, lengthy and often obstructive. It would be helpful if the Government would restore VAT relief on costly work to listed buildings, which would assist owners to comply with the often extensive and always expensive work required to meet conditions imposed by the historic buildings’ offices.