Lovell is calling for the Government to rethink radically its approach to the release of public land and give local authorities discretion to re-designate greenbelt when required. Lovell also calls for developers and the Government to work together to deliver much-needed new homes and restore the promise of a property-owning democracy to the UK.
Lovell has sponsored and contributed to a report entitled ‘Disrupting the Housing Market’, by the think-tank Localis. It will be launched on Monday 16 October at the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors with a keynote speech by Alok Sharma MP, Minister of State for Housing and Planning.
The report calls for local authorities to be given more flexibility in planning for new homes. This would include powers to re-designate greenbelt land through the creation of ‘yellowfield registers’ allowing the sustainable release of land for new homes in areas which do not meet all of the criteria for greenbelt status.
The report also recommends that, in exceptional circumstances of unmet housing need, greenbelt land be allocated for residential development.The ideas have already gathered support from housing association and local authority partners.
In addition to endorsing greater flexibility for local authorities in planning new homes, ‘Disrupting the Housing Market’ also calls for:
• A building programme to create new towns in the South East;
• More direct use of public land (for example, land owned by the MOD and NHS) for new housing;
• Measures to encourage new and speedier building technologies such as modular construction.
Jonathan Goring, Managing Director of Lovell, said: “As a developer of housing of all tenures, Lovell plays a frontline role in helping to tackle the undersupply of new homes in the UK.“We are calling for more flexible and imaginative use of greenbelt and public land, and more widespread use of modern construction techniques. These measures will help deliver new homes in places where people want to live.
“In research carried out separately to this report, Lovell has identified 460,000ha of Government land, much of which is in areas of high housing demand, but is of little operational use to Government departments. There is significant potential to utilise such land for development.
“Our proposals are practical and logical, provide a solution to the housing crisis and will enable the next and future generations to enjoy the benefits of affordable property ownership.”
You can read the full report here.