The suggestion that the recent White Paper is a 'glitterball' of bright and shining housing policies was provided today by a member of the DCLG team at a housing seminar in Central London. It was also suggested by the chairperson at that event that the White Paper had 'tinges of green' and, as such, was more a start of a discussion than a firm policy commitment.
Whilst I am not too sure about the 'glitterball' analogy, I do think the suggestion that the policy document has 'tinges of green' is a very good one. The important point being that it isn't a done deal and much of the operation and detail will come with the consultation on the discipline for local plan production, the methodology for calculating housing need and in the review of the NPPF.
There has been some suggestion that these policy initiatives will be published for consultation before the summer recess and if this is the case then now is the time for those involved in volume house building, the SME builders, the retirement living specialists, local authorities and the social housing providers to get themselves organised and ready to lobby for their sectors.
The subtlety of the UK planning system is that small changes to policy can have a dramatic impact upon each sector of the housing industry. If the message is confused and misdirected there must be a reasonable prospect that the policy makers will miss the point and the opportunity will be lost for another 10 years.
So get on the floor, practice those moves and make damn sure that those silver beams from the 'housing glitterball' shine on your sector!