Rules review announced to discourage demolition

Thu 23rd May 2013, 4:43 pm

The government is planning to tweak regeneration funding to reduce the financial incentives to demolish housing.

Mark Prisk: rule changes announced

In a statement to parliament, housing minister Mark Prisk said that he was determined to reject what he said was the last government’s “top-down, large-scale” targets for demolition and clearance of housing, and that the DCLG was reviewing further steps to end what he called “the bias for demolition in the state sector”.

He said: “The obsession with demolition over refurbishment was both economically and environmentally wasteful, as well as involving significant damage of our nation’s heritage.”

The minister said that measures could include revising his department’s guidance and stating in housing fund bidding documents that demolitions are not appropriate.

He also said that the government would work with TV presenter and architect George Clarke to bring more empty homes back into use.

The National Audit Office previously estimated that there were plans for a total of 57,100 properties to be demolished under the previous government’s housing pathfinder programme, cancelled by this coalition administration.

Prisk said that the number of long-term empty homes fell by 20,000 between 2011 and 2012 and by over 40,800 since 2010. 

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