Housing market renewal
153. It has been argued that the greenfield and inner
city housing markets are so different that no account should be
taken of inner urban housing and land in defining housing allocations
but this is a misunderstanding of the situation. The M62 Study
found that migration from inner urban areas to new build housing
in the suburbs is lower now than in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s.
As a result, the two markets are becoming increasingly disconnected
and the demographic mix of each is such that inner urban communities
will tend to get smaller and suburban markets will have a tendency
to grow, although our advisor Brendan Nevin, one of the study's
authors, wrote, "this is all being exacerbated by a smaller
persistent outflow of population from the conurbation."
154. However, once housing market renewal begins,
it is vital that it is not undermined by competition from the
suburban areas, which are so attractive to both owner occupiers
and house builders. Brendan Nevin has argued in his memorandum,
that any medium term approach intended to radically improve the
attractiveness of inner urban areas should be accompanied by "a
measured and progressive restriction of housing development on
and beyond the urban fringe,"
so as not to undermine the redevelopment of inner urban areas.
A successful approach to housing market renewal will include
the development of new homes in an appropriate mix of sizes, types
and tenures and must attract a range of people back into inner
urban areas. It must not be undermined by greenfield development
and Regional Planning Guidance should develop a sequential test
that limits new house building on greenfield sites until the regeneration
of the inner urban areas is substantially complete.
A HOUSING MARKET RENEWAL FUND
155. It was clear from our visit to the North West
that individual housing markets facing the problems of low demand
vary significantly in terms of what represents a sustainable solution.
Different solutions are required in different places, taking
account of the circumstances facing the housing market in each
conurbation and the need to manage change. The rules governing
a Housing Market Renewal Fund must provide sufficient flexibility
to take account of that diversity. Moreover, in each region, sub-region
and conurbation clear leadership and policies are needed to ensure
that a consistent, coherent approach is developed across Government
strategies and initiatives. To address the problem of failing
housing markets, the range of strategies, powers and funding described
above are needed-one is not sufficient without the others.
328 Paragraph 23, PPG3, DETR, 2000 Back