Paul Cheshire

A real housing crisis but only fake solutions on offer

Overall, the manifestos confirm that all parties are unwilling to face up to the political problems they perceive would follow if they advocated solutions that might effectively address the crisis of housing supply. The illness is real but all that is on offer is snake oil; displacement activities treating some symptoms but not the underlying causes and – paradoxically […]

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    Employing a trophy architect can get a London developer a valuable extra 19 floors

Employing a trophy architect can get a London developer a valuable extra 19 floors

In the highly uncertain world created by the UK planning system’s decision-making method, employing an architect who has already won a lifetime achievement award – and whose work thus has the imprimatur of ‘iconic design’ – can get a London developer a valuable extra 19 floors on a representative site. Paul Cheshire and Gerard Dericks explain the costs to society of these incentives to ‘game’ […]

Where should we build on the Greenbelt?

To slow the rate of increase of housing unaffordability we have to build on the Greenbelt. But release land where? Paul Cheshire argues for a sensible reappraisal of Greenbelt designation and the need to co-ordinate development with infrastructure provision.

Almost every reasonable person must now accept the case that we need to build on some parts of currently designated Greenbelt land. Not […]

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    Britain’s housing crisis risks turning into catastrophe unless urgent action is taken

Britain’s housing crisis risks turning into catastrophe unless urgent action is taken

We have an endemic crisis of housing supply – caused primarily by policies, like Greenbelt, that constrain the supply of housing land precisely where it is most wanted. Paul Cheshire argues that nothing short of radical reform will improve housing affordability. But radical reform, like intelligently loosening restrictions on Greenbelt building, is frightening.  

The housing crisis – worst in London, but […]

Turning houses into gold: the failure of British planning

What lies behind Britain’s crisis of housing affordability? As Paul Cheshire explains, it is nothing to do with foreign speculators but decades of planning policies that constrain the supply of houses and land and turn them into something like gold or artworks. He also exposes myths about the social and environmental benefits of ‘greenbelts’.

When things go wrong, it is always handy to blame foreigners and currently even […]

Having no public data on land prices is a real problem if we are to make sensible decisions about land release or scarcity

Britain is facing a housing crisis. The underlying problem is the restriction on the supply of land our planning system imposes. Paul Cheshire has long argued for using price signals to help with land allocation decisions. However, the government has stopped publishing any data on land prices. Having no public data on land prices is a real problem if we are to […]

January 14th, 2014|Paul Cheshire|6 Comments|

Greenbelt myth is the driving force behind the housing crisis

There is a housing crisis in England, writ large in London, and it is a crisis of supply. Paul Cheshire points out that, contrary to popular perception, there is plenty of space to build new houses, and argues that we need to reform the regulation that is forcing land to be rationed and cities to be strangled by greenbelts. What a […]

September 18th, 2013|Housing, Paul Cheshire|27 Comments|

The government’s planned National Planning Policy Framework is a step in the right direction, but policy makers must ensure they get the incentives right, and that decisions are made locally.

The consultation period for the government’s draft National Planning Policy Framework ends today. LSE London recently held a planning roundtable discussion of 15 academics from a range of social science disciplines to discuss the reforms and try to clarify its objectives. While broadly agreeing with the objectives of the reform, the planning roundtable found that the incentives they provide may often not […]