Close to half of affordable homes in some of the most expensive areas of England will not be built if ministers proceed with planning reforms, analysis by councils suggests.
The government’s proposal to scrap the duty of developers, to build affordable housing on sites for up to 40 or 50 homes, would have led to 30,000 of such homes going undelivered over the last five years, according to the Local Government Association (LGA).
Some areas likely to be most affected are the least affordable and under greatest housing pressure, the cross-party grouping said.
Elmbridge in Surrey, where the average house price is over £760,000, has 486 affordable homes either built under construction or with planning permission over the past five years. This would be reduced to 271 if the proposed 40 or 50-unit threshold is introduced, the LGA said.
Lewes district council in East Sussex could lose up to 37% of its affordable homes, based on past trends. Council leaders in Cornwall have complained the change could result in 300 fewer affordable homes in the county every year.
The warning comes as several Conservative councils voice objections to the planning reforms, which they also complain will limit local power over developments. Robert Jenrick, the housing secretary, defended the plans in an interview with the Guardian, telling rebellious shire Tories their party has a “moral mission” to build more homes.
Video: “Andy Burnham: Government are ‘in danger of losing the public in the North'” (Evening Standard)
The government admits lifting the threshold at which affordable housing must be included from sites