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The Progressive Policy Think Tank

IPPR reacts to new planning laws

Researchers warn reforms will limit affordable house building

IPPR housing policy experts respond to the government’s plans to reform planning laws.

On the implications of the reforms for affordable housing, Jonathan Webb, IPPR Research Fellow, said:

"Serious questions remain about the negative impact these reforms could have. Nearly half of England's affordable homes are delivered through Section 106 agreements.

"The government needs to ensure that these reforms are not delivered at the expense of affordable homes. The government should ensure that developers contribute enough money to maintain the supply of affordable homes, as well as the other infrastructure projects permitted within the levy. 

"At the same time, the government must also increase its own investment in affordable housing as this is the only sure-fire way to deliver the affordable homes we need."

On the wider implications of the planning reforms, Luke Murphy, associate director for energy, climate, housing and infrastructure at IPPR, said:

"The fundamental flaw of the government's proposed reforms is that they are aimed at the wrong target. Of course the planning system can always be improved, but it is not the barrier which the government claims it to be.

"If the government really wanted to address the central constraints to the building of affordable and high-quality homes it should set its sights on reforming England's broken land market and speculative housebuilding model."

"There are also real concerns about what these reforms mean for local democracy and the ability of local people to have a say on the future development in their local area. The government must ensure that any reforms enhance rather than undermine local democracy."



Robin Harvey, Digital and Media Officer: [email protected]

David Wastell, Head of News and Communications: [email protected]

Jonathan Webb and Luke Murphy are available for interview


  1. IPPR's research on affordable housing reform can be found here and land market reform can be found here.
  2. IPPR is the UK’s pre-eminent progressive think tank. With more than 40 staff in offices in London, Manchester, Newcastle and Edinburgh, IPPR is Britain’s only national think tank with a truly national presence.