Town and Country Planning Act

The Best Laid Plans – How planning prevents economic growth

In three previous publications the report's authors have shown that most of the problems with the housing market - low supply, high prices, overcrowding - can be attributed to the planning system. Evans and Hartwich conclude in The Best Laid Plans that the main objective of planning has been to limit the spatial extent of cities and that this artificial reduction of land supply has severe consequences for society, the environment and the economy. [...]

A property-owning oligarchy?

The British seem to be fixated with house prices and follow the development of the property market like the weather report or the latest football results. Prices have been going up and up in the past, and if annual house price inflation occasionally drops to a mere five or six per cent, one can already hear commentators becoming fearful of a slump. [...]

Rising house prices: Nothing to boast about

We believe that implementing both reforms – of the planning system and of local government finance – would make the supply of housing more flexible and deliver the kind of well-designed, spacious, affordable housing in green cities which the citizens of Germany or Switzerland take for granted. We hope that it is not too late to change a system that, to date, has nothing better to boast about than ever-rising house prices. [...]

Better Homes, Greener Cities

The report makes a number of proposals, including allowing local authorities to retain more tax receipts arising from new developments to encourage them to attract new inhabitants to their areas; introducing a Social Cost Tariff worth £500,000 per hectare to compensate communities for the costs of development; and devolving all aspects of the planning system apart from minimum building targets to local authorities. [...]

Planning for better and cheaper homes

Clearly, there is something rotten in the state of UK housing. The rest of the developed world enjoys living in modern, spacious and affordable accommodation. Meanwhile the British are living in houses in which single-glazing windows moving against each other can hardly be cleaned and hot and cold water runs from two separate taps – a caricature of British housing published recently in Germany’s leading quality daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. [...]

Bigger Better Faster More – Why some countries plan better than others

Following the success of Unaffordable Housing – Fables and Myths, which exposed the failings of Britain’s centrally planned system of development, Alan W. Evans and Oliver Marc Hartwich went on a journey in search of alternatives. Interviewing planners, politicians, real estate agents and academics in four countries – Germany, Switzerland, Ireland and Australia – they uncovered how other countries succeed, and sometimes fail, to give people the housing they want. [...]

Local solutions for Britain’s bleak housing market

Britain is a rich, modern and dynamic country but its housing is among the oldest, pokiest and most expensive in the developed world. I am German and have lived in London for just over a year. When my friends and family visit, they are surprised at how sub-standard British houses look. That surprise turns into astonishment and shock when I tell them how much one has to pay for them. I am becoming increasingly irritated at being pitied all the time – and yes. I know I could afford something better in Germany. [...]

Unaffordable Housing – Fables and Myths

Britain’s Soviet-style planning system means that we live in some of the smallest, oldest and costliest homes in the developed world. But is this the housing we want? Unaffordable Housing is the first of a three-part series of pamphlets investigating the causes of, and solutions to, Britain’s housing shortage. Alan W. Evans and Oliver Marc Hartwich ask how Britain's housing has become the laughing stock of Western Europe. [...]