Housing Minister's Speech on Localism

  • Mark Prisk, Housing Minister, updates us on the governments aims and achievements for Localism.

    See a summary of his speech relevant to the sector, from at the PlaceShapers conference in London below, or view the full speech at Gov.uk.


    Some governments have tended to focus on home ownership. And other governments have been pre-occupied with the social sector. Yet on their own, neither will suffice.

    That's why this government is working to help all the sectors grow, because we recognise that the condition of each affects the others.

    I have recently met with Churches Together nationally, to better understand how this pastoral work can help us ensure that many more communities come together.

    Clearly Churches Together isn't the only way to achieve this, but nevertheless I believe that this focus on people rather than bricks and mortar is right, and I would encourage all planning authorities and developers to involve community and faith groups in this way.

    But what else can be done to enable local people to shape their community?

    As part of our reforms to the planning system, we have changed the law to give neighbourhood plans real statutory weight.

    It means that people can now have a genuine say in where and when development takes place and, just as importantly, what that development should look like. Indeed, that ability to shape the look of a town, suburb or village is often more important to people, than the use of the building.

    And the good news is that some 500 communities have already taken up the right to make a legally binding neighbourhood plan.

    To help them, we have put in place a programme of practical support and grants, and set out how community groups would be able to tap into some 25% of any community infrastructure levy receipts where neighbourhood plans are in place.

    And this makes the principles of your ‘Build Local' report not just desirable, but achievable for thousands of communities across the country.

    There are already signs that people are re-thinking how we can provide the elderly with both the shelter and support they need.

    The package of flexi care means that as people's needs change so they can increase the support they need, without ever moving home.

    And just as important, developments are centrally located in the community, not on the edge.

    This is just 1 example of what can be achieved to provide not just homes for the elderly, but the right physical and social environment we might all want to live in as we get older.


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