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Government White Paper – “Fixing our broken housing market”

For the last three decades, UK Governments have promised radical change to solve England’s housing crisis, and the White Paper published on February 7, 2017 was no exception.
Ministers accept that England needs 250,000 new homes every year, as they describe the housing market as ‘broken’ and they agree that radical change is the only way to mend it.
The long awaited document primarily focuses on freeing up land and building regulations to allow for thousands of new homes to be built.  This includes auditing and forcing local councils to meet ambitious targets, encouraging small firms to build 25,000 new homes by 2020 and adopting a ‘use it or lose it’ attitude to house builders sitting on undeveloped land.
Whilst the Government set out 29 points in the Housing White Paper, the key measures important to housebuilders and developers include:

  1. Surplus public land with a capacity for 160,000 homes to be released during this Parliament.
  2. £2.3 billion Housing Infrastructure Fund to fund new infrastructure which is required to enable development by ensuring that infrastructure is provided in the right place at the right time.
  3. Simplification of planning making it easier for communities to produce plans and developers to follow them.
  4. A £1.2 billion Starter Home Land Fund invested to support preparation of brownfield sites to support developments.
  5. Previously announced £3 billion Home Building Fund to provide £1 billion short term loan finance target at SMEs, custom builders and innovators to deliver up to 25,000 homes and the remaining £2 billion long term loan finance for infrastructure and large sites, unlocking up to 200,000 homes.
  6. Boosting productivity and innovation by encouraging modern methods of construction in house building.

In short, the demand for housing is still far exceeding the level of supply, providing opportunities for house builders and developers to ‘make hay whilst the sun shines’.  The discrepancy between supply and demand for residential property is also expected to keep house prices high for the next five years.
Stuart Stead, Partner heads up Cowgill Holloway’s specialist Property & Construction team. His dedicated team provide technical expertise, have in-depth industry knowledge and an extensive network of contacts which make Cowgill Holloway leaders in this area.

This article is for general guidance only. It provides an outline, and may not include points which are important to your situation. You should not depend on this blog without taking advice based on the full facts of your case. The information given was correct at the time of publication.


The information was correct at time of publishing but may now be out of date.

Posted by Cowgills
16th February, 2017
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