Leading local estate agent Mullucks Wells is calling for a considered response to the latest Government proposals to reform the UK’s planning laws.
Director William Wells says that moves to make changes to the country’s current rigorous planning system should not be rejected out of hand, and a more pragmatic view adopted instead.
He explained: “We’re not suggesting for one moment that developers are allowed to ride roughshod over this region’s beautiful countryside. After all, that’s what attracts many people to come and live here in the first place.
“However, the simple truth we have to accept is that affordability has been transformed in a generation. The rule of supply and demand means that a lack of local houses pushes prices up – and yet fewer new homes have been built than at any other stage since the war. As a result, house prices in this area are so high that first time buyers have all but disappeared.
“We’re calling for a third way: a planning system that protects what we cherish, but allows for the building of enough homes which people can afford.”
William Wells also counters any accusations of estate agents acting in self interest by illustrating what’s happened to costs in the rental sector.
He added: “Rents are sky high at the moment because there are more tenants chasing each rental than ever before. But even as an estate agency with a large lettings department, we would support a relaxation of the planning laws to allow some sustainable development to go ahead.
“Of course, we’d need to ensure that buy-to-let landlords don’t simply mop-up any additional properties that are built as a result – and procedures need to be put in place to ensure that doesn’t happen. But this really is a time when cool heads are required amongst the heat of the planning debate, to find a system that is best for all concerned.”