Updated by author wef: 24 Jan 24.
Housing Today’s ‘A Fair Deal for Housing’ campaign quite literally has nothing in it which would deal with the worsening housing crisis compared with The Hendry Solution. It would change, for the better, the way that granting planning consents for housing happens. Currently, planning decisions are a top down disaster. Hendry’s proposal is for all residential planning consents to become locally decided by Town and Parish councillors operating on a stand alone basis yet having full local accountability. This could easily be achieved by changing the terms of the existing planning delegation agreements from having appeals decided by government appointed planning inspectors to letting the local councillors decide.
The Hendry Solution also sets out how to very substantially improve the way housing markets operate all over Britain by bringing house prices for certain types of starter property to within affordable reach of those requiring to live and work in their local communities. This, would be instead of favouring second home buyers and others whom presently outbid locals to acquire the properties they most fancy as investments!
Hendry, a retired property valuation surveyor with long experience in estate management says, “This is the only practical way to solve a festering wound which has been crippling our society financially since I was a child, yet its treatment has been ignored for decades and by successive governments.”
The House Price Solution (or Hendry Solution) incorporates all this by allowing a new, modern and fully workable way for housing markets to operate under central government control with jurisdiction across the United Kingdom.
To those who are uncertain about supporting these proposals I would invite them to look at the house prices and rental costs now damaging the Australian housing markets before commenting critically on these postings. It is not only Britain that needs to face up to dealing with these dilemma.
The following explains the method by which The House Price Solution may be implemented.
Here are my ideas for forthcoming political party discussions for creating manifestos for those looking to attract winning votes at the next general election.
The most valuable change afforded by this solution would be to restore all housing markets around our country to good health by adopting better control over the way houses are sold and rented. This would significantly improve market pricing and so restore price sustainability.
The suggested changes involve improving the way house transactions are carried out to make them more local-market orientated as well as addressing the need to bring in stronger financial checks and balances on the amount of mortgage finance being advanced on house purchases generally.
To accomplish this, all agents advising those wishing to buy or rent houses should be commissioned by those wanting to buy or rent instead of by the seller or landlord as happens currently. Registered House Agents instead of estate agents should be brought in. This vital change is covered in detail under the article headed. The House Price Solution on this web site.
Secondly, and from a planning perspective, this solution advocates developing locally-centred planning control in order to establish better land use, especially the land centred within all our towns and cities.
In peacetime (i.e. whilst our country is not at war with another), residential planning consents should be delegated to all local town or parish councils for them to determine, depending upon local housing need.
This way, genuinely democratic decisions may be arrived at using local decision-makers whom are best able to understand what the current needs of the community are at any particular time.
The different local housing markets could be brought to balance and price levels better able to reflect local demand for housing, more appropriately.
The other necessary change would involve making housing markets operate more efficiently than currently happens, by requiring estate agents to work for buyers rather than being able to work for both buyers and sellers as happens currently.
As a retired residential property valuer I remain convinced that if democratically elected local councillors were to be granted full authority to decide local residential planning applications, the effect of this could resolve the whole housing crisis.
Decisions made by such elected representatives would not be based upon NIMBYism ‘Not In My Back Yard’; quite the contrary!
Instead it would be a question of ‘IN My Back Yard’, as these councillors would be representing the wishes and needs of the local community – not simply trying to resist necessary change!
There could be no finer outcome than this, especially where residential property is concerned, because with this solution these councillors could work to actually resolve the housing crisis which we are now all being affected by, particularly owing to its increasing severity.
In a nutshell, the two very specific changes to the present situation are:
1. A complete change in the way that houses are currently marketed from using agents acting for sellers to ones only representing buyers, including local buyers of course.
2. The bringing in of new planning ‘use classes’, within Local Neighbourhood Development Plans so that houses would be reserved for locally defined uses such as the following.
Here are some possible land use criteria for residential property within towns and surrounding areas throughout Great Britain.
Owner occupation: (by those working locally or retired)
Affordable to buy: (for those starting off in life and by those working locally)
Private rental: (by those working locally)
Social housing lettings: (by those working locally or retired)
Second homes: (for those not working locally)
If considered advantageous planning-wise, a mix of these user different designations, which should be specific to each individual house, could be allowed in the same street or location.
This would give planners, advising and, acting in accordance with democratically elected local councillors the appropriate authority to oversee how the local environment should be developed and nurtured, taking into account present-day community aspirations.
These criteria would be enshrined within new and upgraded Neighbourhood Development Plans lasting at least for five years at a time.
By these means, supply and required availability of such property types could be balanced with anticipated future demand for such accommodation within each town and its surroundings.
This solution would establish the necessary housing provision needed for the different residential uses currently required within each locally governed area. By doing this house prices in each area would be tailored to the affordability of those living and working within the jurisdiction of the towns concerned.
This solution, which is named The House Price Solution or The Hendry Solution, embodies all of these changes and includes full explanations of how these could be operated in practice. All the information is accessible on this web site. It is a comprehensively thought out way of solving the whole house-price crisis for all areas of Britain, not just for Cornwall where we are based.
For more information on the necessary house marketing changes, go to:
How to Improve all local housing markets in England and Wales
Posted by: Peter Hendry, Housing Valuation Consultant
Author of:– The House Price Solution otherwise known as The Hendry Solution.
If any further information should be required, please contact the author by replying below.