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Miliband's housing vow hailed by builders
HOUSING leaders hailed Mr Miliband’s vow to get Britain building again – arguing he was right to put local councils “at the centre” of that effort.
In his speech, the Labour leader said town halls would be given “use it or lose it” powers to levy fees on developers hoarding land with planning permission.
They will also enjoy beefed-up compulsory purchase powers to grab back land that has lain empty for years - despite having been approved for badly-needed homes.
Earlier this year, The Northern Echo revealed that more than 6,000 homes across the North-East and North Yorkshire have approval, yet work has not started.
That included homes in County Durham (1,301), Stockton-on-Tees (871), Sunderland (843), Redcar and Cleveland (667), Ryedale (237) and in Scarborough (523).
David Orr, the National Housing Federation’s chief executive said: “Ed Miliband’s commitment to boost the number of homes is greatly welcome.
“An ambitious, comprehensive house building strategy is what we have been calling for and something that this country has desperately needed for decades to drag us out of our current housing crisis.
“Local councils know what their communities need, so it’s right to put them at the centre of driving housing supply.
Mr Miliband appointed ex-BBC Trust chairman Sir Michael Lyons to head a housing commission, leading to swift legislation after 2015.
He vowed to identify “new towns and garden cities” so that Britain was building 200,000 homes a year by 2020 – “more than at any time in a generation”.
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