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Government to commission 10,000 affordable homes

Words: Laura Edgar

Prime Minister David Cameron has announced a “radical” shift in policy that will see the government “step in” and directly commission new affordable homes on publicly owned land.

The government says such a shift in policy has not been seen on this scale since Margaret Thatcher and Michael Heseltine started the regeneration of London’s Docklands in the 1980s.

The Prime Minister said the move would lead to “quality homes” built at a faster rate, with small building firms able to start building on government sites where planning permission is already in place.

The first wave of up to 13,000 homes will start on four sites outside of London this year, with up to 40 per cent designated as affordable starter homes, he added.

The five publicly owned sites the government will commission housing for are:

• Connaught Barracks, Dover

• Northstowe, Cambridgeshire

• Lower Graylingwell, Chichester

• Daedalus on Waterfront, Gosport

• Old Oak Common, north-west London

The approach will also be used on the Old Oak Common site in London.

In addition, the government announced a starter-home fund worth £1.2 billion to prepare brownfield land for new homes. This, the government says, would fast-track the creation of 30,000 new starter homes and up to 30,000 market homes on 500 new sites by 2020.

Communities secretary Greg Clark said the government is “pulling out all the stops” to keep the country building with a “clear ambition to deliver a million homes by 2020 and support hard-working people into home ownership”.

“Today’s radical new approach will mean the government will directly commission small and up-and-coming companies to build thousands of new homes on sites right across the country.

“This, and the £1.2 billion new starter-homes fund, will help thousands of people to realise their dream of owning their own home,” he said.

Reaction to this announcement can be found here.

Image credit | Department for Businness, Innovation and Skills