Lunchtime news July 11

Jon Trickett, MP for Hemsworth, will chair the group that will write the housing section of Labour’s next manifesto.

Two weeks after Gordon Brown called low-cost housing ‘one of the great causes of our time’, Society Guardian looks at how housing has shot up the political ladder.

The prime minister is expected to break with tradition and set out his parliamentary priorities for next year ahead of November’s Queen’s speech. Housing will be at the heart of the programme, Brown told the BBC, with a range of measures including simplification of planning rules to make it easier to build more homes, and measures to help lenders offer more long-term fixed deals.

The Telegraph reports that homebuyers are being charged mortgage arrangement fees up to 10 times higher than four years ago by banks and building societies.

Rising house prices, interest rates and tax mean that homes are less affordable than ever, according to figures released by the Council of Mortgage Lenders.

Communities secretary Hazel Blears comment on Tuesday that house building took ‘priority’ over environmental concerns has prompted fiery responses from Neil Sindon, CPRE policy director and shadow planning minister Jacqui Lait.