Government to directly commission 13,000 homes

The Prime Minister has announced plans to directly commission 13,000 new homes to be built on publicly owned sites.

The houses will be built by small and medium-sized house builders on five sites in Dover, Cambridgeshire, Chichester, Gosport and north-west London.

40% of those built will be so called “starter” homes – homes that can only be bought by first time buyers under the age of 40 at 20% under market value, capped at £250,000 or £400,000 inside London.

The Government say the “radical new policy shift” hasn’t been seen since London’s docklands were redeveloped under Margaret Thatcher’s premiership.

Prime Minister, David Cameron, said: “This government was elected to deliver security and opportunity – whatever stage of life you’re at. Nothing is more important to achieving that than ensuring hard-working people can buy affordable homes.

“Today’s package signals a huge shift in government policy. Nothing like this has been done on this scale in 3 decades – government rolling its sleeves up and directly getting homes built.

“Backed up with a further £1.2 billion to get homes built on brownfield sites, it shows we will do everything we can to get Britain building and let more people have the security that comes with a home of their own.”

Brian Berry, Chief Executive of the Federation of Master Builders (FMB), said: “When it comes to building new homes, the availability of small sites is the single biggest barrier to SME house builders increasing their output.

“Any measures that the government can introduce that will increase the number of small sites suitable for SME house builders will help address the housing shortfall.

“It is also encouraging that the majority of these sites will already have planning permission in place as obtaining permission is all-too-often a lengthy and protracted process – avoiding this time delay should help house builders increase their supply much more quickly.”

Jeremy Blackburn, Head of Policy at the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), said: “This government has already introduced a great many initiatives that we believe will slow current high rates of house-price growth. Today’s announcements will further help to bring much-needed new developments swiftly to market.”

The five sites for development are:

  • Connaught Barracks in Dover
  • Northstowe in Cambridgeshire
  • Lower Graylingwell in Chichester
  • Daedelus on Waterfront in Gosport
  • Old Oak Common in north west London
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