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Department of Land Economy

Environment, Law & Economics


How many homes we need over the next 20 years is a highly contentious political issue and a major headache for local authorities who are required by the new planning system to decide their area’s “objectively assessed needs”. The presentation will discuss the drivers of household growth and the challenges of estimating the future demand for housing at the local authority level after the economic downturn and a sustained period high house prices.  The consequence of past and possible future undersupply of housing will also be discussed.


Neil McDonald


Currently a Visiting Fellow at the Cambridge Centre for Housing and Planning Research and an adviser to a number of local authorities on housing supply issues, Neil was until 2011 a Director at the Department for Communities and Local Government.   His DCLG roles included a period as Chief Executive of the National Housing and Planning Advice Unit as well stints as Director of Housing and Director of Planning Policy.  He career has included over 30 years’ working as a policy civil servant in the transport, housing and planning fields as well as practical ‘hands on’ experience helping local authorities grapple with the twin challenges of the new planning regime and making sense of official population and household projections to arrive at a view on how many homes should be built in their areas.

Wednesday, 12 February, 2014 - 16:00 to 17:00
Contact name: 
Joanna Laver
Contact email: 
Event location: 
Mill Lane Lecture Room 7