this week saw a national debate about the number of homes that were still not being built to accommodate the needs of those people who can’t afford to get on the housing ladder.
During that debate housebuilders argued that the land for development had to be in such a “shovel ready” state or there must be large enough incentives to make it worth their while.
When housing developments are approved the house builder has to contribute to the cost of building infrastructure, such as roads, schools and open spaces - and still, of course, make a profit.
No-one would deny that developers should make a profit - they are not charities after all.
So this week’s refusal by Leeds City Council to Barratt David Wilson Homes’s application to build 700 new homes in east Scholes raises interesting questions.
The developer has immediately gone to appeal - a costly process that could well lead to the decision being oveturned.
By contrast, the city council has said “come and work with us” to build homes that are acceptable to communities. That may prove more costly, but it would mean that more homes could more speedily be built. Too often developers think they can bulldoze their way through, whereas this approach by the city council offers a much better solution for all.