The situation in Wandsworth proves what the fundamental problem with Britain's housing crisis is; its draconian planning system. When the Town and Country Planning Act 1947 was introduced, this country's circumstances were far different to what they are now. The population was smaller and cheap housing was necessary to home people who had been made homeless by the Second World War. Even though there has been successive legislation since, they all have the same purpose; a centralised planning system.

"The Labour Party are the architects of the UK's housing problem"

No adminstration since the Attlee government of 1945-51 has repealed the Town and Country Planning Act 1947, so all parties are equally guilty of exacerbating the current housing crisis. But it is the Attlee years which deserve the blame for implementing centralised planning, which means the Labour Party are the architects of the UK's housing problem.

An Open Democracy post written in 2001 highlighted the problems with the housing sector that the then Labour government ignored. Famous architect Richard Rogers and former chairman of the Countryside Alliance, John Jackson, warned other countries not to emulate Britain's planning model.

They highlighted that the Town and Country Planning Act 1947 was effective in the sense that it nationalised the countryside and the planning system to stop cities like London expanding beyond the M25 and subsidised the countryside to allow the agriculture industry to make a profit.

Their thoughts back then mimic what the current Government's policy is now; to build on brownfield sites.

Mr. Rogers and Mr. Jackson warned in 2001 that there would be a demand for four million homes in between 2001-2021. The Chancellor, Philip Hammond, is expected to announce during Wednesday's Budget that 300,000 new homes will be built every year now. But because of the Town and Country Planning Act 1947, councils are restricted from building on brownfield sites due to the protection this law grants the countryside and green areas in cities are built over due to demand in the inner cities.

"Is it worth preserving a repressive piece of legislation?"

Mr. Rogers and Mr. Jackson said one per cent of Britain's land is brownfield sites. Is it worth preserving such a repressive piece of legislation if it restricts builders from creating new properties on only one per cent of this country's land? As they said themselves in 2001, the UK does not need agricultural land to the extent it did after the Second World War to feed a starving population.

Another problem with the Town and Country Planning Act 1947 is that it prices out developers from building on the land needed to construct new homes. In 2001, Grade 2 land in Essex could be sold for £4,000 an acre. Once planning permission is granted, this rises automatically.

That same year, developers in Chelmsford were said to have paid £500,000 to build new properties. There is little incentive for developers to build whilst this law exists.

When Labour has the nerve to criticise Wandsworth Council's housing policy to provide their residents with affordable homes, they need to remember that it was their party in 1947 that created this outdated system.