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Sir Michael Lyons: Labour housing review to take up to a year

Labour’s new commission on housing will look at measures to increase housing supply beyond those announced at the party’s conference, according to the man heading the review.

Local government finance expert and former BBC Trust chairman Sir Michael Lyons who will lead the commission, told Construction News the measures posed by Ed Miliband and the Labour leadership at the conference – such as a charge on undeveloped land with planning permission – were “questions the commission has to investigate”.

But he said the commission “won’t be limited” to those announcements. “If we think there are other things that need to be considered then that is what we will do,” he said.

He refused to be drawn on what ideas the commission would look at, after industry experts warned against “oversupply of the housing market”.

He said the membership of the commission was likely to be announced in “weeks rather than months”.

Sir Michael would not say who would be on it, but added: “I expect that it will be broadly-based team reflecting both public and private sectors and with some diversity of views on those issues.”

He said the report was likely to take six months to a year to produce. “We will want to consult very carefully and weigh the evidence, so we won’t rush things,” he said.

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