Government puts surplus land up for sale

Positive news emanated from the government at the end of January with David Cameron and his team announcing that hundreds of acres of land would be put up for sale to help boost house building in the UK, writes property developer Richard Carr.

600 acres

Richard Carr Starter Homes image

Finally, the government provides developers with some motivation

In a bid to help meet the government’s 2020 target of building 200,000 per year, it has put 600 acres of surplus public sector land on the market. They hope it will deliver tens of thousands of new homes, boosting local growth across the country.

Richard Carr still believes there is more the government can do in terms of policies around planning, but does see the move as a positive step and proof that they are serious about getting the country building again.

Housing Minster Brandon Lewis has urged property developers to use this opportunity to build the homes “hard-working people” want and deserve.

160,000 new homes

Early estimates have found that the new Homes and Communities Agency sites made available by the government will support more than 5,000 homes as well as commercial space for industry and business. Also, over 20% of the sites will be available with either outlined or detailed planning permission.

In total, the new land is expected to support the delivery of 160,000 new homes as the government embarks on its largest housing building programme since the 1970s.

Housing Minister Brandon Lewis said:

“Using surplus public sector land for housing has helped us get the country building again with the number of new homes up by 25%.

“Selling off these sites will allow us to go even further, delivering on our ambition to support a further 160,000 homes, while providing a significant boost to local economies and the taxpayer.

“I now want to see developers getting shovels in the ground as quick as possible and build the homes hard-working people want and deserve.”

Investing in housing

Over the next five years the government has pledged to double its investment in housing to more than £20 billion.

Furthermore, a £1.2 billion Starter Home Fund has been made available to prepare disused brownfield sites for starter homes. This will allow for 30,000 new starter homes to be delivered.