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31/10/2018

Homes England to go where the market won’t

Words: Laura Edgar
Housebuilding / iStock

A five-year strategic plan published by Homes England aims to unlock public and private land where the market will not in order to get more homes built where they are needed.

It outlines the national housing agency’s ambitions and the steps it will take to achieve them in partnership with the housing industry sector.

Sir Edward Lister, chairman at Homes England, said that ultimately, the agency needs to disrupt the housing market. It “plans to be bold, creative and think big”.

“We hope the whole of the housing sector – big and small, up and down the country – will join us for the next five years and beyond.”

The plans objectives also include:

  • Ensure there is a range of investment products available to support house building and infrastructure, including more affordable housing and homes for rent, “where the market is not acting”.
  • Improve construction productivity.
  • Create a more resilient and competitive market by supporting smaller builders and new entrants, promoting better design and higher quality homes.
  • Offer expert support for priority locations, helping to create and deliver more ambitious plans to get more homes built.

Chief executive Nick Walkley said: “We are committing to boosting housing supply, productivity, innovation, quality, skills and modern methods of construction to help make a more diverse and resilient market. In return, we are calling for partners and the wider industry who share our ambition to challenge traditional norms and build better homes faster.”

Housing secretary James Brokenshire welcomed the “comprehensive vision” to maximise government investment.


The strategy lists a number of 2018 to 2020 priorities, as well as longer term priorities, including:

2018-2020

  • Deliver the first stage of primary infrastructure on our land in Northstowe by March 2022, and enter into contract with the first housing delivery partner.
  • Secure approval for the 3,500 home masterplan and outline planning to enable investment in the delivery of the Northern Arc in Burgess Hill. This investment will include enabling infrastructure as part of our role as a master developer of the scheme.
  • Support the implementation of the West Midlands, West of England, Oxfordshire and Greater Manchester housing deals and the delivery of their outputs.

Longer term

  • Support the Oxford-Milton Keynes-Cambridge arc. Subject to consultation, further analysis and government decisions, we will support the delivery of new settlements, major urban extensions and significant additional housing across the arc.
  • Develop a plan for the South East to significantly increase housing delivery across the region, by the mid-2020s.

The full strategy can be found here on the Homes England website.

Image credit | iStock

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