To combat the decline in the volume of housebuilding the Housebuilding Task Force has produced a series of varied measures and recommendations. The party most closely concerned should in each case be given the responsibility for taking the lead in implementing the measures. This is stated in the final report of the Task Force which was presented today by the chairman of the Task Force, Mr J.W.M. Simons, to the directors of the participating organisations. These organisations have endorsed the final report.
Of the thirty measures in the report, the Task Force has identified the following eight as the most important since they can do most to accelerate production, certainly through their combined effect.
- Housebuilding should be accorded greater importance when decisions involving competing interests are taken in society. When new rules are introduced, express consideration should be given to their effects on the progress of housebuilding .
- Temporary teams of experts should be instituted to examine the largest government-designated projects for residential development whose production is below target and make proposals for action to all parties concerned. At the request of local parties, the State Secretary for Housing, Spatial Planning and the Environment is prepared to intervene to resolve administrative issues.
- The establishment of an intermunicipal pool of experts would enable qualified personnel to be made available temporarily for projects where specific expertise is required for short periods. As benefits of scale will be obtained in this way, experts can be assigned and personnel can be flexibly deployed.
- There must be a clear distinction between the duties and powers of the private and public sectors. The management role of the municipalities must be formulated and defined more clearly and agreements must be reached about cooperation and the performance of both sides. The research by the Association of Netherlands Municipalities into the management role of the municipalities in respect of urban renewal will be taken into account in the analysis of the effectiveness of the legal instruments.
- There must be a clearer framework (under public law) to regulate the qualitative requirements that can be imposed by municipalities in relation to residential developments. This will create a clear basis for local regulations.
- Restructuring zones for which it is possible to obtain exemption from certain regulations, streamlining of procedures and extra municipal powers must be designated.
- Administrative bodies could shorten the time needed to prepare decisions by adopting clever process management and combining different procedures.
- A procedural guide for housebuilding (?Werkwijzer Woningbouw?) should be produced which provides an interactive survey of the procedures that are applicable at each separate development site.
None of the proposed solutions is a panacea for all ills, but together they provide, in the opinion of the Task Force, a sound basis for a more controlled and transparent housebuilding process.
In addition to these measures, the Task Force makes a number of recommendations designed first and foremost to achieve greater uniformity in the way the housebuilding figures, forecasts and estimates that are produced by the various parties. It also suggests that an additional monitoring instrument could be developed in order to obtain more accurate information about the numbers of dwellings planned as replacement housing. Furthermore, the reservation for residential development sites in the new or revised long term (2005-2015) provincial structure plans to be drawn up this year, should be based on the high economic growth rate scenario in the Fifth Policy Document on Physical Planning. Finally, the Task Force recommends that greater clarity should be provided about the large number of dwellings in the pipeline, in particular between the issuing of the building permit and the time of c