10. What steps his Department is taking to support the building of high-quality, high-density housing. (900511)
In February’s housing White Paper, the Government set out a plan for high-quality, high-density housing. The Government plan to implement this through changes to the national planning policy framework later this year.
Our Conservative manifesto committed to supporting new high-quality housing
“like mansion blocks, mews houses and terraced streets.”
How are the Government working to fulfil this promise and to build housing that is attractive, dense and popular with the public?
My hon. Friend is right: it is about not just the quantity of housing, but the quality too. That is why, for example, getting local people engaged in neighbourhood plans is so important, and it is why we will be bringing forward the changes that we set out in the housing White Paper.
I asked the former Housing Minister back in April what the Government were doing to protect homeowners following the bogus homes scandal, which saw people spending significant sums, only to find that properties were unfinished, that basic plumbing was not working and that wiring was left unsafe. That was not a unique problem: Shelter has found that half of all new build buyers report a major problem on moving in. The former Minister said that an announcement was imminent, but there was nothing in the Conservative manifesto, the Queen’s Speech or the Secretary of State’s response to my hon. Friend the Member for Cambridge (Daniel Zeichner) earlier. When will the Government act to protect buyers of new build properties?
Of course it is very important—we had a similar question earlier—to make sure that people buying new properties get exactly what they believed they were purchasing and, where that is not the case, that they receive help in putting things right. There are already procedures in place, and we are looking to see what more can be done.