This fifth working Paper of the Commission on Sustainable Development in the South East discusses the impact of current housing development in the South East and makes recommendations for sustainable development policies.

Housing faces the same set of issues as any other area of public policy in terms of how to set priorities between competing objectives given constraints on resources. Since 1997, government policy has evolved around several objectives, all with significant implications for resources.

As summarised in the ODPM Five Year Plan, the Barker Review suggested four reasons why housing completions had been on a downward trend since the 1960s:

  • an inadequate supply of land due in large part to problems with the planning system
  • a lack of infrastructure investment to support housing development
  • the complex nature of sites for development
  • a sharp fall in the number of new social homes.

This paper addresses these issues in some depth.