Report: Strategic land sites
Housing in the UK has rarely sustained such a high profile on the political and social agenda. This is true despite the fact that we are in the midst of a unique period of political
instability with hugely significant issues for our country competing for political attention.
The government’s commitment to getting the right homes built in the right places in order to fix the broken housing market, is well documented. The Social Housing Green Paper and Homes England strategic plan 2018 to 2023 are examples of this.
We all know that the pace of construction of new homes must increase in order to meet the demands of growing communities and the government’s challenge to the sector to build 300,000 additional homes each year. From the kitchen tables of existing households, to the chambers of the planning committees, to the board rooms of PLCs, there needs to be a positive attitude towards the building of new homes.
This is easier said than done, partly because this issue is rife for debate. What do we mean by building the “right homes” in the “right places” for example? And if we are going to build “as soon as possible” then there are plenty of challenges to be navigated in that time. These include the complexities of engaging with political influences and detailed legal processes. This is all set in the context of our public services being constrained by recent “austerity measures” and forces affecting commercial entities with responsibilities to deliver positive outcomes, not just for local communities, but also for the various stakeholders of the City.
Many focus on the importance of brownfield land, observing that existing sites of this nature have capacity for 1 million new homes, according to some assessments. Despite this, it is abundantly clear that additional land will need to be “unlocked” for new development. The strategic land sector works with local planning authorities to identify and release such land for new projects and the importance of this work in the context of the housing crisis cannot be overstated.
We invited a group of industry leaders to debate these challenges and opportunities and to create new alliances to make sure these development sites can get off the ground.
This report summarises the key themes of that discussion.
Read the full report here.