UK housebuilding 'mutant algorithm' retracted after political storm

Occurred: 2020

A UK government plan for a new formula to determine where to build houses to meet its aim of delivering more homes had to be withdrawn after a political backlash.

The so-called 'mutant algorithm' was part of broader UK government planning reforms, including a target to build 300,000 new homes across England each year by the mid-2020s

However, the plan met a backlash from some senior Conservative MPs, who argued that it would fail to 'level up' North of England, while seeing the South 'concreted over'

Critics also expressed concern that the plan could lead to more homes being built in rural areas and in the South East, rather than in the North and Midlands, and that it did not prioritise 'brownfield sites' (previously developed land that is not currently in use).

In response, Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick announced that the government would abandon the controversial algorithm and said it would revise its proposals to focus more on urban development, building more homes in the North and Midlands, and in brownfield sites in urban areas or city centres.

Developer: Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
Country: UK
Sector: Govt - housing
Purpose: Calculate minimum annual local housing need figure
Issue: Bias/discrimination - location